Youth Advocacy Platform equips LL youths with leadership, governance skills

Youth Advocacy Platform (YAP) on Friday conducted a one-day Leadership and Governance Training Workshop to equip young people with leadership and governance skills.

YAP is a registered national youth-led not-for-profit organization, which aims to promote citizen, youth and community-led participation in the implementation and monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through capacity building and advocacy so that the citizenry realizes full potential.

Msaka (in first row, in suit) posing for a photo with the young leaders at the end of the training

The organization provides a platform for engagement, opportunities, self-awareness and discovery, capacity building, skills acquisition, networking and career development.

YAP Programme Coordinator Elias Mambo said his organization had noted that many young people lacked capacity and skills to enable them to lead in various spheres of life.

Key speakers at the training workshop included Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Bright Msaka.

“Most of these young people are university students. We are targeting university students because we believe they are almost there close to occupying positions of leadership in the society,” he said.

In his remarks, Msaka – who is also legislator for Machinga Likwenu and DPP Vice President for Eastern Region – urged the trainees to refrain from immoral behaviour that can ruin their future.

He stressed that good leaders need to be credible and empathetic for them to excel in their undertakings.

Msaka observed that both in the government and private sector, systems are collapsing because of bad leaders, observing that majority of the people nowadays take leadership positions because of opportunities those positions present.

“People don’t take leadership positions because they want to change anything in an organization. NO! They take leadership positions because they want to benefit from the opportunities those positions offer. So, ask yourselves why you want to be leaders. If you feel like one day you want to be CEO of Admarc because you want to sell the maize pretending its rotten, you want to be a PS for Ministry of Agriculture because you want to buy fertilizer from a butchery, then you are disqualified,” he said.

He stressed the need for Malawi to build a cadre of leaders that is hardworking and has the right skills to inspire others to perform outstandingly.

Msaka said young people need to critically analyze the reasons motivating them to vie for any leadership position.

“Go out there and be interested in output. What are we achieving? Don’t be misled by absorption capacity, but what we are achieving out of what you were allocated. Activity isn’t the same thing as accomplishment. Being at work is not the same as working,” he said.

Speaking in an interview afterwards, Msaka said he expects the students he had interacted with to become selfless leaders who will aspire for top positions in order to serve.

“I am expecting that after my interface with these students, we are going to have leaders that are selfless, that take on positions of leadership not for themselves, but for the public good or for the good of the institutions that they will lead. Here is the difference: people that aspire for leadership in order for them to acquire the benefits that come with that position, or the people that aspire for leadership in order to improve things either in the country or in the organization that they lead. I am hoping that after today, the team of leaders that we have interfaced with today will be the latter kind of leaders who will be there for the benefit of the people,” he said.

A representative of the students, Dorica Manda, described the leadership and governance training workshop timely, saying the skills they gained will enable them to become effective leaders.

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