Commonwealth Young Leader Competition Blasts Off!!!

Commonwealth ambassador John Apea with Herbert Mensah and finalist

Commonwealth ambassador John Apea with Herbert Mensah and finalist

Leaderblast, an ideas competition aimed at empowering Ghanaian youth, was successfully held on the 30th of May 2015, at the Ghana International School.

Dr Mary Ashun, Acting Principal of Ghana International School began proceedings at the dynamic event by encouraging students to dream big. She quoted Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, first female President of an African country saying ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough!’

The first speaker, Brian Frimpong, Managing Partner for Databank’s Agricultural Fund urged participants to persevere in the face of adversity, reminding them that success comes to those who are not afraid to fail. Fashion designer, Abena Pokuaa, CEO of Ohema Ohene, on her part, urged institutions to prepare the youth to be work ready for real world employment.

Herbert Mensah, an avid entrepreneur and former CEO of Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC, showed his delight at what he termed ‘a wonderful and empowering event’; Mr. Mensah was the head judge. His fellow judge, Cecilia Dei-Anang, President of Ringier Ghana, and the founder of popular brands such as, JobsinGhana, AllSport and Pulse Magazine, was unequivocal about the power of the youth to determine their own destinies.

The surprise winner of the day was the LA Wireless cluster of government schools, which held off stiff competition from the likes of Ashesi University, Cape-Coast University, Webster University, SOS, Ghana International School, Association International School, Labone Secondary School and Mary Mother of Good Counsel to win 3rd place in the ideas project competition. A close 1st and 2nd place deservedly went to Legon University and Royalhouse Church Youth group, who presented robust social business ideas.

In his closing address, John Apea Resident Director of the Commonwealth Africa Office, made a call to governments and educational institutions to respect the ‘brobdingnagian’ force of the 1.8 billion youth in the world today, 90% of who live in developing countries.

The competition was organized by the Africa Office of the Royal Commonwealth Society, co-organizers of the Queen Elizabeth II Young Leaders Programme and the Ghana International School. Title sponsor was the First Atlantic Bank, with support from Ohema Ohene Fashion Design and The CupCake Boutique.

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