Three young Ghanaian ladies have become the talk of international News having been chosen among a list of 28 other young African ladies from 26 African Countries for this year’s Moremi Initiative Leadership and Empowerment Development (2017 MILEAD) Fellows.
The 3 are Ms. Iris Kwafo-Mensah, Ms. Fafali Nyonator and Ms. Maame Darkwaa Twum Barima
Ms. Iris Kwafo-Mensah’s selection is in recognition of her remarkable track record as a leader and a change agent. She served as a Women’s Commissioner of the National Union of Ghana Students, and is an alumnus of the Fredrich Erbert Stiftung Youth Leadership Training Program. Iris is an education and women’s reproductive health rights activist, who currently serves as a Teach for Ghana Fellow contributing to global education for girls. As part of her reproductive health rights activism, Iris works with communities and groups, conducting breast cancer awareness campaigns through her initiative “Pink Aware.” She volunteers with Project Hope, a program that supports and empowers Kayaye (Porter Girls) through film and focus group discussions.
Ms. Fafali Nyonator’s selection is in recognition of her remarkable track record as a leader and an activist. A former Women’s Commissioner of the African University College of Communications, she also served two terms on the Women’s Commission for the National Union of Ghana Students. Fafali is the founder of FALI’s FOUNDATION, an organization that focuses on community health outreach for women and supports orphans and street children to lead a more productive and fulfilling life. As part of her activism, Fafali volunteers with GEMgirl, that focuses on the empowerment of young girls via access to relevant resources and education.
Maame Darkwaa Twum Barima’s selection is in recognition of her prolific contributions to civil society’s initiatives. Her knack for organizational communication and media engagement supports her role as a Program Assistant in the Communications and Information Unit, at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). At WACSI and through her activism, she supports efforts to strengthen internal and external communications, and develop effective organizational media and brand strategies. With her flair for creativity, she launched her “Tenacity Clothing Line” in April 2017 and simultaneously runs a packaging company known as “Tenacity Packages”, which she established in December 2015. Through these enterprises, Maame seeks to provide opportunities for women and girls to become economically self-reliant.
The three were selected from over 2,500 applications from 45 countries with Ghana been the only country among the 26 selected countries to have had 3 fellows selected while all other countries had one each.
The MILEAD Fellows Program is a uniquely designed initiative committed to the long-term leadership development and promotion of Africa’s most promising young women leaders. Fellows go through a yearlong training and mentoring program, designed to build skills, strengthen networks, and support women’s leadership on critical issues.
The 2017 fellows will converge in Accra, Ghana to kick-start the 2017 MILEAD Leadership Institute – a three-week intensive training program – which will be hosted by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Legon. The Institute will serve as a platform for Fellows to cross-examine concepts of leadership in a broad African context, cultivate the skills and experiences necessary to occupy and excel in leadership positions, and gain knowledge on cutting-edge issues critical to African women and their communities. In addition to knowledge building lectures, skills-training workshops, teambuilding activities, role plays and other interactive activities, Fellows will be mentored by experienced and accomplished women leaders who are committed to supporting and nurturing the next generation of African women leaders.