The recently graduated fellows were nominated through a rigorous selection process based on their track-record of compelling achievements and participated in a two-year long class comprising of four residential seminars. During this time, they each had to commit to carrying out a high-impact Leadership Venture of their own choosing — vetted and approved by their peers.
Of the initial 25 Ghanaians and Nigerians that registered at the beginning of the 2015-2017 session, 17 Fellows graduated; 10 of whom are Nigerians. The class was named ‘Karfi Kuo’ meaning ‘Group of Strength’ which originated from the Hausa (Nigeria) and the Twi (Ghana) dialects.
The graduation of the ‘Karfi Kuo’ class took place at the historic Aburi region in Ghana. The Nigerian Fellows of the class include: Ayisha Osori; Consultant, Founder of Advocates for Change & Social Justice, and former Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund; Ayodeji Adewunmi; President and Chief Executive Officer of Jobberman; Clare Omatseye; Founder and Managing Director of JNC International Nigeria Ltd; Kelechi Ohiri; Chief Executive Officer, Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation (HSDF); Mohammed Abu Ibrahim; Chief Executive Officer, Environmental Management & Dev. Systems, Tokunboh George-Taylor; Managing Director of Hill+Knowlton Strategies Nigeria among others.
Fellows from the Inaugural Class 2002, Totum Bonum 2006, Sankofa 2009, and Muje Ghangeria 2012 were at the graduating ceremony.
Mrs. Amina Oyagbola, an Alumni member and Chair of the Board of Directors shared a few words of wisdom at the event saying, “We will ensure we continue to strengthen the Fellowship and make it what we want it to be. We owe equal responsibility and accountability to prove that Africa can indeed rise and take her proper place on the World Stage”
ALIWA Founder, Ken Ofori Attah also shared how he felt it was time for Africans to start taking responsibility for their various countries while building opportunities for Africans. Dr. Omobola Johnson, Partner TLcom Capital and former Minister of Communication Technology, Nigeria finished up by congratulating the graduates. She emphasized on the need for fellows to take ownership of their new title by transitioning from “Success to Significance” for younger Africans.
Others present at the event were Alumni Fellows including Dr. Orode Doherty Country Director Africare Nigeria, Mr. Kwaku Sakyi Addo Ghana NCA Board Chairman, Ms. Esi E. Ansah from the Ghana Board and David Langstaff, the senior moderator of the Programme.
ALIWA has successfully graduated 87 Fellows from West Africa, 39 of whom are Nigerians who have passed through the Fellowship Program over a period of ten years. These Fellows join the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government and the nonprofit sector — currently more than 2,400 “Fellows” from over 50 countries. The ‘Fellows’ share a commitment to enlightened leadership, using their extraordinary creativity, energy and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All also share the common experience of participating in the Henry Crown Fellowship or one of the dozen Aspen Institute leadership initiatives it has inspired in the United States, Africa, China, Central America, India and the Middle East.