04 September 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Xolisa Mnukwa
Koffie Yinkah
“I believe the Hesselbein Global Academy annual fellowship programme was vital for me as a potential public servant of South Africa to serve the people of this country in government one day.” – Kofi Yinkah

University of the Free State (UFS) third-year BAdmin student, Kofi Annan Yinkah, formed part of the Hesselbein Global Academy annual fellowship programme, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh in the United States of America (USA). Originally from the East Rand in Johannesburg, Kofi represented the UFS as one of the top-50 students who were selected out of 450 global applicants.

The Hesselbein Global Academy annual fellowship programme aims to connect young leaders from all over the world with well-equipped professionals who are leaders in the fields of business, government, and education. This programme was established for the purpose of cultivating and producing cadres who will become experienced ethical leaders, armed and qualified enough to address and solicit solutions for critical issues experienced by diverse societies throughout the world.

“The fellowship covered topics that have helped to broaden my critical thought processes and concerns about societal issues in our country and all over the world. It has also emphasised the importance of implementing change through effective governing-policy development and establishment,” Kofi says.

He describes his experience at the fellowship as “out of the ordinary,” and believes that it has had a progressive influence on his life. He explains how it has unlocked his mind through enlightened engagement with student leaders from various countries in the world, including Nigeria, England, Canada, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, China, United States of America, and Ireland.

One of the most important tools he believes his experience has equipped him with, is understanding the significance of employing a solution-driven approach to various situations. He is confident that this will give him the necessary skills and knowledge to work effectively in teams.

Kofi explains that he found out about the fellowship programme via social media. He encourages UFS students to use online platforms to source information about opportunities that can offer them meaningful experiences for learning and growing. 

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