YALI Voices Podcast: Victor Ochen

At a young age, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and YALI Network member Victor Ochen made a calculated decision to live a life of peace after growing up in the “darkness of fear” in war-torn northern Uganda. “My choice remains peace and will always be peace,” he says in a YALI Voices podcast.

Checkout the original post here: https://yali.state.gov/yali-voices-victor-ochen-audio/

YALI Voices Podcast: Raindolf Owusu 

In 2012, a 22-year-old Ghanaian computer science student named Raindolf Owusu introduced African internet users to the Anansi Browser. It is considered Africa’s first web browser and was designed to help users with unreliable internet connections stay connected as well as use games and a web camera that can operate offline.

For his creation, he has been dubbed “the Mark Zuckerberg of Accra” by Forbes Africa magazine. But as he tells the State Department’s Macon Phillips in a YALI Voices podcast, as successful and as celebrated as the browser has been been, he lives in a country where many people can’t use it because they aren’t connected to the internet.

“Building a big web browser … will give you accolades and everything else, but that’s something my mother cannot use or my grandmother in the village cannot use,” he said.

As founder and CEO of the software company Oasis WebSoft, Owusu wants to create products that would be more relevant to his community. For example, in Ghana, like other African countries, mobile phones are relatively cheap and nearly everyone has one.

Where is he taking his talent now and what are his future plans as a young leader? Listen to the full podcast to find out.

YALI Voices Podcast: Timi Olagunju

Timi has over five years' experience promoting good governance, human rights, democracy, and the youth agenda. He provides leadership to over three hundred and fifty young leaders in Nigeria through the Nigerian Youths in Motion (NYM), a non-profit organization that engages governments, institutions and communities in solving sociopolitical challenges, and promotes economic and societal growth upon which individuals and companies prosper. Timi holds a law degree from the University of Ibadan, and a certificate in the Science of Communication from the Graduate School of Communication in Amsterdam. He has trained thousands of young professional and students on how to creatively identify and solve socioeconomic challenges through the Eye for Accountability Initiative (EFAI). Timi is a lawyer, writer, and speaker dedicated to building stronger networks of sociopolitical thinkers, strategists, and problem-solvers across Nigeria, and eventually Africa, and intends to continue raising sociopolitical leaders upon his return from the Fellowship.

For more information on Timi and for a transcript on this podcast, read "YALI Voices Podcast: Co-founder of Nigerian Youths in Motion propels education reform" here: goo.gl/qnh4ax

YALI Voices Podcast: Fatu Ogquche

Fatu Ogwuche has five years’ experience in the public sector and is the new media consultant at the Independent National Electoral Commission where she's instrumental in project management, capacity development, and developing strategies for citizen engagement. Fatu worked with the African Elections Project in the 2012 Ghanaian elections by sharing knowledge of new media tools used during the 2011 Nigerian elections. She played a positive role in the 2015 elections and coordinated activities in the INEC's Situation Room which led to her meritorious selection by Professor Attahiru Jega to serve on the 2015 Elections Report Committee. She volunteers in voter education activities and raises money for charity through various programs. Fatu holds a Bachelor of Law degree from the Nigerian Law School and an LLB from the University of Jos. Upon completion, she plans to work with institutions that strengthen electoral processes, good governance, and democratic values in Africa

YALI Voices Podcast: Cyrus Kawalya

Ugandan-born Cyrus Kawalya sounds a bit coy about his past as an entertainer in the latest YALI Voices Podcast with the State Department’s Macon Phillips.

He was once nicknamed “Cyrus the Virus,” known for songs like “A Menace to Society.” He was also a professional photographer who founded Vision I, an organization that offers workshops to young people who are interested in pursuing a career in film or photography.

But many YALI Network members have also heard of this 2014 Mandela Washington Fellow as the man behind the #IPledgePeaceUg campaign, which many credit with playing a part in the decreased violence around Uganda’s elections in February 2015.

What motivated this successful artist to change his focus from the entertainment industry to social advocacy, and transform his routine from being “a late-night person” into someone who now advocates meditation and reading?

Kawalya also discusses how he uses the YALI Network to engage rising leaders across the African continent and challenge them to stand up to corruption. “I’m going to be looking at you. I want to see what you’re going to do when you get into that space,” he says.