Conference on African Leadership

This season is the last chance Africa has. It makes or breaks her future. Right now, the continent is at a crossroads.

Africa has been lagging behind almost in every sector, far behind. If Africa continues this path because she is using the same approaches and with the usual pace that led her to this point, there is no better future for its people and the coming generations. She must take this season of her seriously and as her last chance to redeem herself. This is time to chart a new path, turn a new page. Otherwise, she will remain behind forever.

Africa now, however, has a new hope regardless of those skeptics who dubbed her ‘The Hopeless Continent’. Africa is the youngest continent endowed with untapped potential.  These give her a competitive advantage to come out of her predicaments. What is more? Regardless of past misfortunes, betrayals, and brutalities in the forms of colonization, slave trade, and so on, Africa demonstrated resilience and survived. Now, we see so many encouraging changes in many parts of Africa. Hope is on the horizon.

21st C is Africa’s. She is an upcoming star in the universe. She is set to shine in the new Century. We at PRO Leadership see a bright future ahead for Africans. That is why we dedicated the next few decades to bridge the leadership gaps in the continent so that she may tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities the new era presents. We are committed to playing our fair share- together with our strategic partners, for the transformation of Africa. History is in the making and we would like to be part of this history.

Nonetheless, Africa must tap into its human capital. Resting her hope solely on any form of revolution- industrial or technology- must stop now. The continent took too much time and failed to capitalize on these on time. These revolutions that helped other continents cannot accelerate her speed of growth to catch up with the rest of the world. It is too late. Financial and in-kind assistance, technology transfers, and experience sharing from those who attained sustainable economic development alone cannot also allow her to experience true transformation in one generation.

The continent must make a paradigm shift from focusing on techniques, systems, and technologies alone to investing in her people, especially on her youth and the most crucial section of her society- women. Africa should also tap into the Diaspora community well beyond its contribution in the form of remittance.

In short, Africa may need to undergo lots of changes and use various approaches at multiple fronts before she attains sustainable development. Regardless of multitudes of development efforts Africa must undertake and at multiple fronts, she should put developing her human capital at the center. These efforts cannot be successful both in short and long terms without raising competent leaders in quantity and quality. Raising leaders at all levels should be the focal point of Africa’s transformation.

That is why PRO Leadership, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2009 decided to focus on bridging the leadership gaps in Africa.  PRO Leadership’s this year annual conference is themed “Bridging the leadership gaps to tackle the major challenges Africa faces”. The launching conference will be held on May 29th, 2019 in Silver Spring MD. For your info, the follow-up launching conference on the soil of Africa is underway. It is going to be on July 16th, 2019 @2 pm in the headquarter of African Union, Addis Ababa. Stay tuned for more info…

The keynote speaker is H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, AU Ambassador to the US.

African Diaspora community leaders; Elected Officials; representatives from international organizations; private foundations; immigrant, women and youth activists are expected to attend the conference. Below are the core elements of the program:

  • Brief opening remarks by guest of honors (Elected officials, VIPs, Major sponsor);
  • Keynote by H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, AU Ambassador to the US;
  • A book signing (a brief presentation by the author, the Founder of PRO Leadership, on his book “Bridging the Leadership Gaps”);
  • Panel discussion focusing on the three pillars to bridge the leadership gaps;
  • Success stories of African leaders.
  • Consultative discussion among strategic partners concerning next steps and future projects.

Below are confirmed speakers:

1. Guest of Honor Speakers:

  • Marc Elrich, County Executive of Montgomery County
  • Tom Hucker, Councilmember of Montgomery County
  • Mohamed E. ‘Mo’ Seifeldein, Councilman of Alexandria Virginia
  • And more.

2. Helena O. Mishoe (PhD, MPH), Rear Admiral, United States Public Health Service (Ret) “Africa’s Future: ‘Growing’ High Impact Leaders”

3. Panelists:

  • Viola Llewellyn, Co-founder & President of Ovamba
  • Samson Teffera, Board Member and Communication Lead of TASFA
  • Matthew Breman, Regional Director, Africa of International Youth Foundation 

4. African Leaders Success Story Speakers:

  • Julian Kiganda, Transformational Brand Strategist
  • Dr. Omekongo Dibinga, Director of UPstander International
  • Chiko Abengowe, CEO/Founder of Perfect Staffing Solutions, LLC

5. Book Signing:

  • Dr. Assegid Habtewold, Founder of PRO Leadership Global Inc.

This is our hope that the remarks by the honorable Ambassador of AU to the US and other speakers will increase the awareness of participants about the critical roles leadership could play to tackle the major ills Africa faces. We also anticipate the following main outcomes at the end of the conference:

  • Increased awareness about the need to invest on the organizational and leadership capacity of key stakeholders, which in turn empower them to tackle the major ills Africa faces.
  • Clear understanding about the three major leadership gaps (Geographic, Gender, and Generational) that exist and the potential approaches stakeholders should take individually and collectively to bridge these gaps
  • The coming together of strategic partners to create synergy in bridging the 3 leadership gaps in the coming years and decades until Africa experience true transformation.

Behind this important and timely conference are talented and dedicated professionals (Advisory and Organizing committee members) from diverse nationalities, cultures, backgrounds, gender, and generations.

Below are members of the Advisory Committee who provide advices, suggestions, and recommendations to the Organizing Committee. Members include:

  1. Tebabu Assefa, Co-Founder of US-Africa Diaspora Business Council
  2. Omega Tawonezvi, Director of Southern African Community USA
  3. Mali Phonpadith, CEO of SOAR Community Network
  4. Krish Murti, Community Leader and Senior Project Management Expert
  5. Obang Meto, Executive Director of Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia
  6. Dr. Teylama Miabey, Executive Director of National Congress for Democracy
  7. Shim Mekonnen, Chairman of the Board of Your Ethiopian Professionals network
  8. Kalewongel Tesfaye, UN Youth Advisory Board and Founder of YouthToYouth
  9. Dr. Yetnayet Demessie, Empowerment Coach and Consultant
  10. Dr. Gabe Hamda, Founder of Go PRO21 Community
  11. Eric Rasch, Operations Manager of Silver Spring Civic Building
  12. Mary Assefa, Consultant and Co-Founder of Jantilla

Below are also members of the Organizing Committee who are super dedicated to carry out the day-to-day execution of the conference’s program:

  1. Yeabsira Zewdie, Int’nal Dev’t Professional & UN Association-NCA Board member
  2. Peyton Brooks, Business Success Specialist
  3. Semhar Woldetnsae, Project Manager & Educator
  4. Besu Feleke, Int’nal  Dev’t and Conflict Resolution Professional
  5. Rahwity Haile, Certified Operations Program Manager
  6. Dr. Eche Wilson, Leadership Expert and Consultant

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