WADEMOS empowers next generation to safeguard West Africa's democracy
WADEMOS empowers next generation to safeguard West Africa's democracy

WADEMOS empowers next generation to safeguard West Africa's democracy

The West Africa Democracy Solidarity Network (WADEMOS) has nurtured 15 young activists chosen from various parts of West Africa through its "Next Gen Initiative" to safeguard the fragile democracy within the sub-region. 


This initiative aims to empower and equip the next generation of leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to advocate for positive change and reinforce democracy in West Africa.

The six-month mentorship program, which began in October 2023, included a four-week intensive online session followed by a two-month mentoring program with a recognized civil society organization and community-based project work.

First cohort

Termed as ‘Young Leaders,’ the inaugural Next Gen Initiative's first cohort comprises Ophelia Awinboma Azure (Ghana), Mark Owusu Twumasi (Ghana), Ndey Fatou Nying (Gambia), Zakari Emmanuel (Nigeria), Ohalete Lynda Chiamaka (Nigeria), Kotobidjo Nehemie (Benin), Sadiya Diallo (Burkina Faso), Diallo Aissatou (Guinea), Roslia Djedjo (Guinea-Bissau), Malamine Badiane (Senegal), Marina Terry (Sierra Leone), Sialyn Hawah Bockarie (Liberia), Ousman Goulo Abdoulaye (Niger), Pitekelabou-Potchossi Magnudawa (Togo), Tetchi-Yavo N’gbesso Jean-Yves (Cote d’Ivoire).

CDD Address

At a closing ceremony held at the CDD-Ghana office in Accra, WADEMOS Project Director Prof. H. Akwasi Prempeh urged the young leaders to foster meaningful relationships that contribute to breaking down the barriers dividing citizens in the sub-region.

“WADEMOS is deeply committed to the youth, ensuring that we nurture a new generation of democracy defenders and activists. The concept of WADEMOS revolves around solidarity, understanding democracy, our challenges, our diverse countries, and cultures, with the aim of creating a unified West African community,” a statement from Accra said.

Prof. Prempeh emphasized, “It's about offering you and the next generation a genuine opportunity to live in free societies so that you can fulfill your full potential.”

Upholding Democracy

Prof. Larry Diamond, a renowned scholar on democracy, encouraged the young leaders to remain vocal in their communities against abuses of power and anti-democratic tendencies by their leaders.

“Without scrutiny, public voice, media, or civil society, there will be new and deeper forms of abuse of power and declining public trust. When governance falters, it is countered by an informed, active, vocal, peaceful, imaginative, and energetic civil society, and that is what you represent,” he remarked.

Navigating Democratic Challenges
WADEMOS Network Coordinator Paul Osei-Kuffour highlighted the recent decline in democracy, underscoring the need to groom a new generation of leaders to steer a new course for the sub-region and the continent.

“The Next Gen Initiative underscores WADEMOS’ commitment to cultivating a new breed of leaders with impeccable leadership skills and dedication to development. The Network also aims to enhance the capacities of young leaders, provide exposure, and offer a platform for them to explore their abilities and talents while ensuring diversity, inclusivity, and balanced leadership on the continent,” he commented.

Selection Process

Out of over 150 applicants, the 15 successful Next Gen Young Leaders received certificates from the Network for their participation in the program. Following the completion of the six-month program, each individual will concentrate on finalizing or initiating a community-based project with support and technical guidance from the Network.

WADEMOS is a non-partisan, independent civil society-led transnational democracy solidarity network. The WADEMOS Network comprises over 30 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) located in 15 countries in West Africa.

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