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Sierra Leone’s Fatou Wurie Emerges as Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellow

Fatou Wurie

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has announced the 2021 intake of its Ibrahim Leadership Fellows, three emerging African leaders who will participate in one-year mentoring programmes at leading multilateral institutions.

The incoming Fellows are Fatou Wurie (Sierra Leone), who will join the African Development Bank (AfDB); Gaokgakala Sobatha (Botswana), who will join the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA); and Richard Adu-Gyamfi (Ghana), who will join the International Trade Centre (ITC).

Fatou Wurie is the first Sierra Leonean to become a Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellow.  Fatou, Gaokgakala and Richard make up the tenth cohort of the Ibrahim Leadership Fellows programme, which was established in 2011 by the Foundation to identify and mentor the next generation of outstanding African leaders. During their 12-month programmes, fellows gain both technical and leadership skills, while contributing directly to research and policy design.

A special feature of the programme is the opportunity to benefit from the direct mentorship of the heads of the host organisations. Since 2012, 28 Fellows (including this year’s cohort) from across Africa have participated in the programme. Upon completion of their placements, Fellows become members of the Foundation’s Now Generation Network (NGN), a group of over 250 emerging leaders from over 40 countries who are committed to building a better Africa. Jendayi Frazer, Head of the Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships Programme, said: “I offer my warmest congratulations to Fatou, Gaokgakala and Richard, who have been selected from a short-list of exceptional candidates.

I look forward to engaging with these bright young minds, and indeed learning from them, over the next year.”

Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “Africa’s future will be determined by the strength of its leadership. By far the best way to nurture the potential of the next generation of leaders is by providing them with first-hand opportunities to develop their expertise and confidence. I’m delighted to welcome the 2021 Ibrahim Fellows to the Foundation family and I wish them all the best for their placements.”

The 2021 Ibrahim Leadership Fellows: Fatou Wurie (Sierra Leone) joins AfDB. Fatou is social justice and public policy practitioner, with over ten years of national and international interdisciplinary experience in leading programmes at the nexus of innovation, women’s rights and strategic change initiatives.

Gaokgakala Sobatha (Botswana) joins ECA. Gaokgakala is an urban governance and development specialist with fifteen years of experience in the public sector. Her areas of expertise include urban and regional development planning and coordination, social development, environment and climate change.

Richard Adu-Gyamfi (Ghana) joins ITC. Richard is an expert in entrepreneurship and intra-African trade. He is a co-author of the AfroChampions ‘AfCFTA Year Zero Report’, which highlights the commitment and implementation readiness of African countries towards the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The application process for the 2022 Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships programme will open in August 2021.

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