Youth Political Leadership Academy
Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Leadership


50% women among the graduates from the YPLA in 2012

UNDP has supported the capacity development of political parties in Rwanda, particularly that of aspiring future leaders by supporting the National Forum for Political Parties, a platform for dialogue and exchange of ideas among political organisations. A number of capacity building initiatives were carried out in all provinces through the Youth Political Leadership Academy training the youth on theories of political Ideology, party functioning and development, public policy to practices on political communication and social networking for party expansion.

According to the latest Project Report, The process to foster future leaders culminated into a total of 227 graduates among them 50% women graduating in 2012 from the leadership academy compared to 107 graduates in 2011 including 45% of women. The national forum also organized trainings in communication skills (including IT) with web site management for political party leaders. A total of 32 participants from the 10 Political Organisations, including some members of the NFPO Communication and Political Dialogue Committee were trained.

On 14th July, 2012, the National Consultative Forum of Political Organizations (NFPO) held a graduation ceremony for participants from Kigali and the Western Province. These participants were part of a group of young leaders to benefit from the 5th training session held at the Youth Political Leadership Academy (YPLA). This academy provides a training program designed for youth aspirants under 35 years. Each political party appoints four representatives (2 men and 2 women) from the 10 registered political organizations in Rwanda to attend the program.

YPLA Success Stories

Nearly all of the 34 pilot YPLA graduates held substantive responsibilities during the 2010 presidential election process. The Social Democratic Party nominated YPLA graduate Theodomir Niyonsenga to serve as the party’s second deputy general secretary. Graduates Claudette Mukabasebya, Pie Nizeyimana, Telesphore Hakorimana, and Sada Uwase joined a national observation mission, while others served as political party agents at polling stations, trained fellow party members in campaign skills, or helped to organize campaign rallies and get-out-the-vote efforts. Two YPLA graduates also ran in February 2011 local elections and won. Angélique Mukunde was elected vice mayor for economic affairs in the capital’s Kicukiro district.

YPLA in 2011

In March 2011, with funding from USAID and the Kingdom of Belgium, the Institute launched an expanded academy with two locations: Kigali and Butare. The new academy brings together activists under age 35 from all 10 of Rwanda’s registered political parties for three months of intensive seminars.

International and local practitioners and academics lead sessions that address political party organizing, political communication, campaign planning, good governance, political career paths, ethical leadership, negotiation and conflict prevention, and using technology for political organizing, among numerous other topics. Silas Nzabonimpa, a graduate of the pilot YPLA, has joined NDI’s staff to assist in coordinating the academies.

The 80 current YPLA participants are eager to learn the skills that will likewise allow them to participate more fully in the political decisions that shape their country’s future.

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