By Boris Esono Nwenfor (Cameroon)
The Denis and Lenora Foretia foundation has trained 20 emerging leaders in policy and public service. For 3 days, the emerging leaders-20 of them from the ten regions of the country had training on various tenets such as leadership values, good governance, becoming transformational leaders amongst others.
According to Dr. Vera Kum, Economic Policy Analyst at the foundation, the reason for the seminar was to “bring like-minded young Cameroonians that can act and serve as peace ambassadors to propagate ideas on good governance, good democratic roles, promoting the role of law and above all preaching the gospel of togetherness amongst Cameroonians”.
The emerging leaders at the end of this training programme will be affiliated to the foundation for a period of 6 months. During this time, they are expected to come up with policy papers which will be sponsored by the foundation with FCFA five hundred thousand for each group. “This is a grant from the National Endowment for Democracy. It is the second phase with the first phase used for the organization of a survey on the democratic process on Cameroon. The last phase has to do with a net short citizen video: where our graphic team talks to the ordinary citizen on how the Cameroon economy is doing” Dr. Vera noted.
Responding on the modalities of the selection process, she said: “the first modality was that they must be Cameroonians less than 35 years old, bilingual, have at least a bachelor’s degree in any field. We laid emphasis on those with experience on human rights, governance and democracy”.
For three days, speakers from diverse fields of study drilled the emerging leaders on various topics such as good governance and human rights, leaders and nation building, youth engagement in public service, becoming a transformational leader and many more. The last day of the programme focused heavily on the various group projects carried out by the emerging leaders.
The participants at the end expressed their joy and gratitude to the Foretia foundation for such an initiative and for giving them the opportunities to learn. Like Oliver Twist, they encourage the Foundation to put in place certain things that will make the stay on the next intake memorable. To Bongwong Justin Berinyuy, programme coordinator NWR-Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, “we are expected to drive change in order to have an emergence. For the 6months that we will be engage in the Nkafu Policy Institute we will be coming up with policy documents and issues of human rights can be addressed in a sustainable way rather than intervention. Because when we intervene, the problem may still arise but through policy briefs, the public policy can be changed”.
On her part, Sirri Cynthia Gang, programme Director Mother of Hope Cameroon said she is going back a different person taking into consideration the knowledge disseminated by the various speakers during the seminar. “We have a unanimous goal: first of all to propagate the activities of the foundation which centers on good governance, policy and democracy. We are expected to transmit what we have learn here, incorporate it into the various programmes we are doing to ensure that this message does not die when we leave”. “One thing that we have also grabbed is the synergy that we have been able to create. We believed that working together we can be able to do something great”.
Since its creation in 2012, the Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation is committed to making significant contributions to the building of the Cameroonian society. The foundation aims to impact and ameliorate the lives of millions of people in the African continent.
As an independent think-tank focused on research, the foundation’s Nkafu Policy Institute is leading the way in providing in-depth, original and innovative policy recommendations on development issues in Central Africa region and in Cameroon in particular.