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Participant Experience: 2020 Ethiopia Youth Leadership Development Program

Tensae Getu attended a day long YLDP workshop in January 2020, held by Africa Matters in collaboration with SunEko Ethiopia at Col. John C. Robinson American Center, Addis Ababa.

I attended a day-long YLDP workshop, which was held by Africa Matters in collaboration with SunEko Ethiopia at Col. John C. Robinson American Center, Addis Ababa. Different topics were raised at the workshop including the concept of leadership, soft skills, social entrepreneurship, design thinking, business canvas model and youth advocacy.

Before the training, I had a wrong interpretation of leadership. I used to think leadership is all about leading a country or be a manager of huge company. But Africa Matters helped me to understand that leaders are those who believe in themselves and inspire others to dream about their own goals, and work towards common goals.

In the workshop, we assessed ourselves in which category of leadership style we are grouped in and most of us exhibit different leadership style in different conditions. There were questions that helped us to realize who we are, who we want to be, what we are good at, what others think of us and what we do think of ourselves.

Even though we were afraid to answer some of the questions, we shared our experiences and feelings in the group and learned from each other and the exercise.

Our trainer Farai Mubaiwa taught us how to be a good public speaker and we enjoyed practicing it. She also gave us hints about conflict resolution and problem solving.

The very interesting topic, social entrepreneurship was discussed and Thato Kgathanye's innovation of Repurpose School Bags were mentioned as exemplary work.

We as a group identified our community problems and came up with some solutions, which helped us to develop critical thinking and gave us a better understanding about business model canvas. I was a fresh graduate and was looking for a job at the time I attended the Africa Matters workshop.

Farai shared with us her own life experience about how she branded herself for job opportunities. That really helped me to get the job I have right now.

Luck might have played a role but I was very good during the interview and the tips I've got from Africa Matters have been very useful. I was recently appointed a lead for the Ethiopia Youth Leadership Development Program, which was very great news for me.

I believe I'm on my way to influence my community by sharing what I've learnt with Africa Matters and other programs with my family and friends.

I'm also attending and coordinating Human Rights and Dignity training organized by a member of World Youth Alliance additional to my regular responsibilities and different volunteering activities.

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