W. H. Gates Sr. Institute Hosts Inaugural Youth-Powered Global Health Leadership and Advocacy Accelerator in Lilongwe, Malawi

Jun 12, 2024

The William H. Gates Sr. Institute for Population and Reproductive Health hosted a Global Health Leadership and Advocacy Accelerator (GHLAA) designed specifically for East African participants on 13-17 May 2024 in Lilongwe, Malawi. This training marked another milestone in the Institute’s commitment to fostering global health leadership and advocacy, especially when it comes to the next generation of leaders in the field.

In collaboration with the AYSRHR Global Roadmap for Action (GRA), a coalition of over 40 youth-led organizations working on matters of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) around the world, the GHLAA fostered a dialogue on current youth priorities in SRHR. By identifying common themes and local solutions, the GHLAA showcased the unified voice of youth across diverse contexts.

This round of GHLAA participants came from a range of backgrounds, including clinical medicine, academia, grassroots organizations, youth-led initiatives, human rights groups, and media. They learned key skills around the use of SMART Advocacy (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) directly from youth trainers who previously went through the course. From there, participants were able to take their advocacy learnings and apply them in realtime at important events and opportunities like the ninth African Population Conference (APC) happening just a few days later also in Malawi.

Yotam Ngwira, Executive Director of Youth Empowerment Towards Development (YETOD), a youth-led organization in Malawi, aptly summarized the significance of the GHLAA: 

“Investing in youth-led organizations is investing in the future; their innovative ideas and boundless energy drive sustainable change and build stronger, more resilient communities.”

The recent East Africa GHLAA stands as a testament to the Institute’s dedication to nurturing future leaders and promoting localized, sustainable solutions for global health challenges.

Stay tuned for future Leadership Accelerators across the globe!

Meet the Course Facilitators

Chizoba Onyechi

Program Advisor, John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Specialization: Social and behavior change, gender & social inclusion, women economic empowerment  

Otuck Willams

Managing Director, Young And Alive Initiative

Specialization: Clinical medicine, policy advocacy, sexual reproductive health and rights, youth advocacy

Peter Ngure

Founder and Team Lead, Pathways Policy Institute (PPI) and African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)

Specialization: Global health advocacy specializing in FP/RH Advocacy and the cross sectoral linkages on SRHR and climate justice 

East Africa GHLAA Participants

Background on the GHLAA

The GHLAA is a William H. Gates Sr. Institute platform aimed at building the leadership capacity of mid-career professionals in global health. The current iteration of the training program evolved from the Leadership Accelerators hosted between 1999 and 2014 that trained nearly 600 mid-career professionals from 71 countries. Graduates of these Leadership Accelerators have become influential figures, including government ministers and CEOs.

View Photos from the GHLAA in Malawi

Read TCI’s Full Supplement in Global Health: Science and Practice

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