Overview of the SLP

Creating a critical mass of emerging leaders dedicated to girls and women’s empowerment to improve family wellbeing across the Sahel

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In January 2015, 27 emerging leaders from Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad met for an intensive one-week training, facilitated by a group of world-class facilitators. And the Sahel Leadership Program was born. Since then, 4 cohorts of leaders have joined the program, building the capacity of 113 leaders across six West African countries between 2015 and 2018. The program is led by the OASIS Initiative, in collaboration with University Abdou Moumouni University in Niger (UAM), l’Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP) at the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso (UO), the Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Prevention in the Sahel (CILSS) and USAID’s Sahel Resilience Learning (SAREL) project. Combining classroom and experiential learning, the SLP is the only training program conducted in Africa that brings professionals together who specialize in girls’ education and empowerment and/or family planning, two of the most powerful levers to catalyze an increase in contraceptive prevalence in this region.

In addition to the intensive training, the SLP includes a year-long mentoring program, which pairs fellows with senior leaders who help prepare them for more influential positions. Fellows also implement a country-based group project, providing the opportunity to apply the concrete communication and advocacy skills they build up through the program as well as extend the impact of their participation in the SLP. Finally they become permanent members of the SLP network, linking them to new opportunities, collaborations between fellows, and a platform for creating change across borders.

See photo highlights from the 2018 SLP Intensive Training here.