Chineme Okafor in Abuja
The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Waziri Adio, and nine other Nigerians have been graduated by the Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa (ALIWA), as its fifth class of high impact-making fellows and entrepreneurial leaders from business; government; and the non-profit sectors in 10 years.
A statement from ALIWA which was obtained by THISDAY wednesday in Abuja, explained that aside Adio, other Nigerian graduates from the prestigious fellowship included Ayisha Osori who is a consultant, founder of Advocates for Change and Social Justice, and former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Womenâ€™s Trust Fund; Ayodeji Adewunmi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jobberman; Clare Omatseye, Founder and Managing Director of JNC International Nigeria Ltd; Kelechi Ohiri, Chief Executive Officer, Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation (HSDF); as well as Mohammed Abu Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Management and Development Systems.
Others are Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, Commissioner, Budget and Planning, Kaduna State; Olaniyi Yusuf, Managing Director of Accenture Nigeria; Sanyade Okoli, Chief Executive Officer, Alpha African Advisory Limited; and Tokunboh George-Taylor, Managing Director of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Nigeria.
The statement noted that the recently graduated fellows were nominated through a rigorous selection process based on their track-record of compelling achievements and participated in a two-year long class comprising of four residential seminars.
During this time, it added, they each had to commit to carrying out a high-impact leadership venture of their own choosing, vetted and approved by their peers.
According to the statement, of the initial 25 Ghanaians and Nigerians that registered at the beginning of the 2015/2017 session of the ALIWA, 17 fellows graduated, 10 of whom are Nigerians.
The 2017 class, it further explained was named â€˜Karfi Kuoâ€™ meaning â€˜Group of Strengthâ€™ which originated from the Hausa (Nigeria) and the Twi (Ghana) dialects.
â€œThe graduation of the â€˜Karfi Kuoâ€™ class took place at the historic Aburi region in Ghana,â€ added the statement.
It quoted the Chair of the Board of Directors of ALIWA and alumna, Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, to have said at the graduation: â€œWe will ensure we continue to strengthen the fellowship and make it what we want it to be. We owe equal responsibility and accountability to prove that Africa can indeed rise and take her proper place on the world stage.â€
Similarly, founder of ALIWA, Ken Ofori Attah, was quoted to have explained it was time for Africans to start taking responsibility for their various countries while building opportunities for Africans.
According to the statement, ALIWA is a program aimed at raising a new breed of community spirited leaders who have achieved notable success in their fields, to tackle the core developmental needs of their countries.
It has reportedly graduated 87 fellows from West Africa, 39 of whom are Nigerians who have passed through the fellowship program over a period of 10 years.
It noted that the fellows join the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the non-profit sector.