By Ndey Sowe
One hundred and fifty-two fellows have completed a year’s leadership skills training under the TAF Leadership Academic (TAFLA), in preparation for the next generation of Gambian leaders.
This is the second cohort of the TAFLA graduation ceremony held on Saturday 5th June of 2021, at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center in Bijilo.
In his opening remarks, Mustapha Njie, President and CEO of TAF Global Housing Estate and TAFLA, said leadership is an issue in Africa and therefore, something needs to be holistically done to address it.
“We thought our humble role is to look back at these young ones aged between eighteen and thirty years and start working on them, if we are seen to be successful as an entrepreneur and at an early age,” he said; that there is need to empower young people by training them with the right skills and right values of leadership, in a bid to change the narratives.
Speaking on behalf of the team of Judges, Dr. Roddie Cole who looked into the work of the eighty young architects competing in affordable housing designs, said no was criteria set for participation.
“We did not feel that any particular group has the monopoly, creativity or passion. So it is open to everybody interested such as architects, architectural technicians, artists, planners and anyone who wishes to participate,” Dr. Cole said.
During his deliberation which dealt mostly with opportunities and challenges, Pastor Francis Forbes, the guest of honor for the occasion advised the graduates to make the best use of the knowledge gained from the program.
“We all have opportunities. Leave that with your mind and make TAF as well as the Gambia, proud,” he said. He advised the fellows to trample down and shun tribalism and work together as a people to ensure and bring the level of prosperity and success in the country higher.
Basiru Jaye, who delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the graduates, said the one-year intensive leadership training has taught them to weigh the risks and benefits in becoming better decision makers.
“Every fellow of TAF Leadership Academy sitting here today, is able to identify and understand his/her core values,” he added.
For the information of the readership, TAFLA was created to serve as a training academy for future leaders. The Academy sets out to prepare and train the next generation of Gambian leaders on diverse issues based on their areas of interest, and seeks to harness the characteristics essential for creating a mission-based life of impacts and purpose, for Gambia and Africa’s future leaders.