In November 2018, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Ghana Country Office launched the Youth Leaders (YoLe) Fellowship Programme. The goal of the Fellowship is to empower young people and aid in the realisation of their full potential. The programme is designed to infuse young people into the UNFPA system with a dedicated focus on exploring their perspective on UNFPA’s areas of interest, while providing the Fellows’ the opportunities for professional development and training in health innovation.
The programme helps young Ghanaians to hone their skills needed to launch their careers. The first cohort comprised 16 high-performing, recent graduates of Ghanaian higher institutions between the ages of 22 – 26 years. After completion of the Fellowship, some Fellows went on to pursue graduate education with scholarships, whilst others were able to secure jobs to work in organisations such as World Food Program (WFP), African Health Innovation Centre, UNFPA Togo and UNFPA Ghana.
An integral component of the YoLe Programme involves exposing the Fellows to the various agencies within and outside the UN system. It is expected that through this exposure, the Fellows will grow to better understand the diverse nature of starting a career as well as the mandate of the UN and the work of the different UN agencies in the context of the UN Reform and the Delivering as One Agenda. The Youth Leaders (YoLe) Fellowship initiative is in line with the UN Youth Strategy.
Since the inception of the YoLe Fellows Programme, AHIC has served as a key strategic partner, training YoLe Fellows in essential innovation, entrepreneurship, and intrapraneurship skills. Now entering the fourth cohort, AHIC will continue to work directly with YoLe fellows to teach the application of business models within international development work, increase exposure to innovations in public health and SRHR, and create connections between UNFPA and the health startup community.