Young African leaders from 21 countries recently converged in Ghana to discuss and provide solutions to challenges faced with African youths in their various countries and communities.

The countries represented include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

The conference formed part of activities of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which brings 1,000 young African professionals from across the continent for six weeks of leadership training in United States’ Universities.

Participants are educated and groomed as the continent’s emerging generation of entrepreneurs, community leaders, and public officials working to shape the future of Africa.

Robert P. Jackson, the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana who was present at the conference said, “Innovation is what is needed to change the face of the continent. Leaders are those who refuse to give up in the face of challenges.”

The leaders were advised to embrace collective work in tackling community problems to support entrepreneurship, end youth unemployment, and foster economic development.