KIGALI, Rwanda – The Mandela Institute for Development Studies has commenced a four-day training workshop for 26 of its alumni from 20 countries in Africa, two of whom are Liberians.
The institute is a continental organization that seeks to address development challenges in Africa in a holistic and comprehensive manner.
The workshop taking place in Kigali seeks to train attendees to run training workshops in their respective countries.
At the opening of the workshop on Tuesday, program manager Rumbidzai Chisenga said the organization wants to ensure that young Africans are “strategically engaged” into mobilizing their peers to improve their countries’ democracy and governance for the better.
“This workshop is to try and equip you guys to be able to run workshops in your home countries, in your regions,” she said. “We are not just training you for [the Mandela Institute for Development Studies’] purposes; we believe that this is a skill that every leader needs.”
Chisenga said the Mandela Institute for Development Studies has engaged over 300 African youths and trained under 150 in the last three years in leadership, democracy, elections, and governance under various training programs.
The workshop is being facilitated by facilitators from the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa.
Among the participants are two Liberians: Moses S. Bailey and Jairus T. Kudah. The two Liberians, like the other 24 participants, were invited from a pool of more than 300 alumni to attend the workshop.
In April 2016, Bailey and Kudah applied to attend the organization’s North and West Africa Civic Education Workshop in Elections and Governance in Dakar, Senegal. The pair was accepted to attend the program.
Upon their return home, Bailey and Kudah trained 144 youth from political parties, high schools, and universities in Bong, Margibi, and Nimba.
[Full disclosure: the author of this article was one of the participants of the training]