Professor Were: Why African Young Women Must Excel as Ashinaga Scholars

Miriam K Were during a lecture at the Ashinaga Uganda KokoroJuku

As part of the I Can She Can campaign, to raise awareness on female leadership, Professor Miriam K. Were wrote a short message titled “Why African Young Women Must Excel as Ashinaga Scholars.”

We are honoured to have Professor Miriam K. Were, a Kenyan public health advocate, Medical Doctor, Professor of Public Health, and recipient of the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, as an Ashinaga Africa Initiative Kenjin-Tatsujin. 

Arise and shine, girls and women of Africa! We make up 50% of Africa’s population! Therefore, we should provide at least 50% of the solutions to Africa’s development challenges in order to stop Africa from being behind every region of the world by huge margins in education, health, sanitation, etc. and being the region with the poorest people by far. We must take advantage of every opportunity to be professionally qualified! The Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) is an excellent opportunity for African Young Women to become Ashinaga Scholars along with young African men in our field of interest for our own well-being but, even more importantly, to be in positions to have a positive influence in our countries, in the African continent and in the world! African young women, arise and shine! 

I am 79 years old as I write this in 2019 looking forward to my 80th birthday in 2020. I was born and lived my early life in Africa under colonial rule.  As I got into my twenties, I was among those who longed for political independence because I believed that the lives of Africans in the continent would dramatically improve with political independence. It is now almost 60 years since my country of Kenya, and many other African countries became politically independent. Things have improved somewhat but not as much as we had hoped!  The many issues cannot be dealt with in this space but I would like to address two issues I consider most essential.

The first critically essential factor for improvement of the quality of life in Africa is having good political leadership in African countries.  All educated Africans must join forces to promote good political leadership. We need to have leaders that have as their central focus the improvement of the lives of all citizens rather than having a focus on personal power and accumulation of personal wealth within and outside the country for themselves, their families and their political allies. Political leaders, their families, and allies must stop piling money in personal accounts overseas while many in their countries are being crushed by poverty. There is a need to have opportunity for all.  The second critically essential factor in Africa is the need for opportunities for the professional qualification of many of Africa’s young people; both women and men. The Ashinaga Africa Initiative, AAI, is one of the most excellent opportunities for professional qualifications for young African women and men.  

Why is the Ashinaga Africa Initiative an excellent opportunity for professional qualifications for young Africans?  Firstly, AAI opens a door that is closed to many qualified young Africans by providing financial support. Secondly, it opens that door into institutions that have the expertise of the interest of the concerned young African. Thirdly by direct interaction with Ashinaga staff and fellow AAI scholars, AAI scholars get emotional and motivational support to achieve their best. Young African women must take up the challenge of being amongst the best AAI scholars to improve their own lives and contribute to improved political leadership. Arise and shine, young African women! If I could do it 60 years ago, in my twenties, why not now, young women of Africa? Arise and shine and help the entire continent of Africa to shine along with you!! If you don’t do it, who will? Arise and shine, young African women and men!

Thank you, to Prof. Were, for writing this inspiring piece for the #ICanSheCan campaign. Ashinaga values female leadership and wants to encourage young women from sub-Saharan African countries to apply to the Ashinaga Africa Initiative. The application for the 2020 application can be found here: http://bit.ly/AAI-Apply-ICanSheCan

Be sure to fill it out before the deadline on December 13, 2019. 

Do you have any friends who have the potential to become future leaders? Please input their names and email addresses in this form: http://bit.ly/ICanSheCan-Join

 

 

Ashinaga USA, the North American hub of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative