Mandela Washington Fellows mentor over 500 St. Mary’s Girls SHS Students

On Saturday 27th July, 2019, the Mandela Washington Fellows Association of Ghana held its first career counselling and mentoring programme with first year students of St. Mary’s Girls Senior High School in Accra.

The alumni association of the Mandela Washington Fellowship instituted the mentoring programme ‘Nyansapo’ this year with the aim of supporting Students with information on career choices and using their stories as bar of excellence for students. 

The President of association Dr. Hilda Boye told the students that ‘Nyansapo’ was chosen as the name of the mentorship programme because the group wanted a name more indigenous. “The ‘Nyansapo’ in the Adinkra symbols reflects what we want to do. It symbolizes wisdom, ingenuity and patience. This symbol is revered by the Akan because it means a wise person has the capacity to choose the best means to attain a goal” Dr. Boye said.

Professionals in the fields of energy, medicine, law, media, public service, army, amongst others were the mentors who gave the students one-on-one counselling sessions during the break out session.

Whilst some of the mentors (who are all alumni of the association) revealed that they would have done better if they received such guidance and counselling in the early stages of their life, others also made it clear that they have been able to reach the heights they are now because of similar guidance and counselling and therefore advised the students to take advantage of the programme.

Amongst the topics that the mentors shared with the students are ‘Excellence,’ ‘Leadership,’ ‘Choosing my career,’ ‘Career development plan,’ ‘Health and wellbeing.’

Other Senior High Schools across Ghana will benefit from the ‘Nyansapo’ project subsequently.  

Fellow of the week: Laud Anthony Basing

Laud Anthony Basing is Scientist, Engineer, Innovator and Entrepreneur. He is the CEO and Founder of Incas diagnostics, a social enterprise in Ghana, which seeks to save lives through the design and production of low-cost, easy-to-use, point-of-care diagnostic test kits designed specifically for Africa. He is also the Executive Director of Incas Impact Foundation, a foundation which offers mentorship and capacity building for Ghanaian youth.


Laud Anthony is passionate about research, and with a background in both Microbiology and biomedical Engineering, Laud Anthony’s research interest has been in developing simple tests for infectious diseases that largely impact women and children in Africa. He has several years of research experience with international collaborations. He worked with the University of Liverpool and researchers from 13 countries from 2009 to 2013 on a project on the effect of climate change on Health outcomes. He worked with the World Health Organization in Ghana and Papua New Guinea on yaws eradication from 2015 to 2016 and worked with the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University in the United States to develop low cost, mobile enable test devices for HIV and Yaws. He has made Poster and oral presentations in Nigeria, Mali, Spain, South Africa, China, Cape Verde, Kenya and the United States.

 
Laud Anthony Basing is a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow in the Business and Entrepreneurship track and was previously, the Chairman of the Linkages Committee of the West and Central African Regional Advisory Board for the fellowship. He is a member of American Society for Microbiology (ASM)’s Young Leaders Circle, and the former ASM Young Ambassador to Ghana. He is the former Vice Curator of the Kumasi hub of the Global Shapers Community, a global network of young people driving dialogue, action and change, a former President of the Young African Leaders’ Network-Ghana and a member of the Alliance for Young entrepreneurs Ghana.

Laud Anthony is the first Ghanaian to have been nominated for the Innovation Prize for Africa, a prestigious award aimed at strengthening African innovation ecosystems through supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African solutions to African challenges. He was named one of the 50 most influential young Ghanaians in 2017 and a 2017 Emerging Leaders under 40 winner in the health and wellness category in Ghana. Laud won first place in the social innovation track of the 2018 Burton Morgan Business Model Competition in Purdue University and Second place in the 2017 Shurz Innovation Challenge for developing a urine-based Point of Care Diagnostic Kit for Sexually transmitted Diseases. In March of 2019, Laud was named one of the top 30 innovators in health in Africa in the World Health Organization’s Africa Innovation Challenge in 2019.

Fellow of the week: Kwabena Tontoh Kankam-Yeboah





Kwabena Tontoh Kankam-Yeboah has over eight years of experience in power generation. Currently, Tontoh is a Business Planning Engineer at the Volta River Authority (VRA), Ghana’s largest power generation company.

As the engineer in the office of the Director, Thermal Generation SBU, he focuses on the Department’s performance management, budget and projects. His experience spans operations and maintenance, assets management, power projects development and
management, and business planning. Prior to his current role, Tontoh assisted the Technical Adviser, of the then Minister of Power, in the monitoring and management of emergency power projects in 2016. 

Tontoh is a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow, the flagship program of the U.S. Department of State Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). His Fellowship program focused on Public Management with Energy Policy at the University of California-Davis (UC Davis); and served as a member of the 2017 Regional Advisory Board of the Fellowship for West Africa. He currently serves as the Projects & Programs Coordinator for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Association of Ghana (MWFAG). He is also a member of the Global Shapers Community – Accra Hub (an initiative of the World Economic Forum) .
Tontoh studied BSc. Electrical/Electronic Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has a Master of Science degree in Engineering & Management from Coventry University

Fellow of the week: Zubaida Afua Mabuno Ismail

Zubaida Afua Mabuno Ismail is a broadcast journalist with Media General, owners of TV3 Network Ghana Limited, 3FM, Connect FM, Onua FM, Akoma FM, and www.3news.com

She is the Northern Regional Correspondent for the media giant. She also is a 2018, Mandela Washington Fellow of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI).

She was placed in the Public Management Track at the Syracuse University, New York.

Miss Ismail is the founder of Girl Strength, a non-profit organization in the Northern Region which mentors females between the ages of eight(8) years and twenty five (25) years on self discovery, self reliance, career shops, STEM, and sexual and reproductive health.

She has been a mentor on the annual speed mentoring programme by NORSAAC, where girls in five senior high school in five districts in the northern region are giving leadership skills to bridge the gap between male and female in leadership positions.

Miss Ismail is the Head if Communication at Autism Help Foundation, she is a co-founder of Ham’s Comfort, a small scale enterprise that recycles plastic into neck and bed pillows.

She holds a certificate in High National Diploma in Media and Mass Communication from the Tamale Technical University.

At her leisure time, she loves to volunteer in anything that seeks to advocate and advance the wellbeing of her community.

Fellow of the week: Philip Osei Bonsu

Philip Osei Bonsu is a Corporate Communications Executive, Broadcast Journalist and Entrepreneur. He has over eight years’ leadership and managerial experience in the media, power sector and non-for-profit organizations.

Currently, Philip is the host of Ghana’s biggest political, social and current affairs talkshow: Ekosiisen on Asempa 94.7FM.

Before his current appointment, he was the Head of Public Relations for the Electricity Company of Ghana in the Western Region, where he focused on initiating and leading the implementation of Public Relations Strategies that improve the ECG’s corporate image in the region.

Additionally, Philip sits on the Board of Western Waste Limited, a subsidiary of Zoomlion Ghana Limited.

He is also the founder and CEO of OBPR Consult, a PR firm that specializes in Media Communications, Public Relations and Public Affairs.

Previously, Philip served as the Brand’s Manager of Skyy Power fm and doubled as host of the Western Region’s biggest breakfast show, Jolly Breakfast Show on the same station. At the corporate level, he worked as the Corporate Communications Manager of Skyy Media Group. He also at a point hosted Skyy Power FM’s weekend news analysis program, ‘News Review’ on part-time basis.

In 2015, Philip was named with 29 other young Ghanaians as a young achiever in the ‘Newaccra Achievers Report’ (See:www.newaccra.com/rise)

Philip is a Tullow Scholar who holds an MSc in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs from the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, where he served as the Publicity Committee Chairman of the African Students Association.

He is also a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow placed in the Business & Entrepreneurship Track at the University of San Diego, California where he obtained a certificate in Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship.

Philip was recently named as a finalist for the Professional Achievement Category in the 2018 UK Alumni Awards organized by the British Council.

As part of his volunteer activities, Philip serves as the Coordinator of the Tullow Group Scholarship Scheme Alumni Network in the Western and Central Regions and was until recently the Media Relations and Publicity Director for the Mandela Washington Fellows Association of Ghana.

Philip is committed to promoting youth development and capacity building in entrepreneurship through the sharing of knowledge and strategic networking. He thus convenes the ‘Beginning the Year Right’ Summit and the Western Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Summit to equip the youth with the right entrepreneurial skills to tap into the immense opportunities the region provides.
He hopes to train 10,000 youth in the next ten years.

Fellow of the week: Dr. Anthony Seth Eshun





Anthony Seth Eshun is a Medical Officer, Team Leader and Founder of Premies Focus Group (PFG) , a non-profit start-up with a goal of improving the survival rates of babies born prematurely in rural under-resourced communities in Ghana.

PFG is made of a network of health workers, social workers, engineers, IT personnel and volunteers currently in the Eastern, Central and Ashanti Regions. The goal of PFG is to offer prompt online management options for babies born prematurely in obscure rural areas, facilitate prompt referrals to the nearest hospital capable of managing premies along side implementing measures to help reduce the incidence of premature births by mitigating the modifiable risk factors.

Dr. Anthony Seth Eshun works with the Our Lady of Grace Hospital Breman Asikuma in the Central Region and currently a resident in Surgery at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. 

He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow who studied Civic Leadership at the Indiana University – Bloomington in the USA.

Fellow of the week: Linat Osman

Linat  Osman  is  a  Gender  and  Girls  Activist, a  campaigner  for  equal  rights  and  opportunities  for  girls, young  women  and  teenagers  in  Ghana. She is the founder  and  Executive  Director  of  Teen Talk Ghana, a  registered  Non-Governmental  organization  championing  the  rights  of  teenagers, young  women  in  the  northern  part  of  Ghana.

Ms. Linat  Osman  is  also  a  professional  teacher  by  training  and  is  proficient  in  languages  such  as  English  and  French.  She has strong mobilization, networking  and  communication  skills.

She  is  known  in  the  local  civil  society  as  an  astute  advocate  with  impeccable  communication  and  social  networking  skills. In  May 2016, Ms. Osman  participated  in  the  Women  Deliver  Conference  held  in   Copenhagen, Denmark, where  she  contributed  to  various  round  table  discussions  on  sexual  reproductive  health  and  rights  issues. She  has  carved  out  a  niche  for   herself  in  the  area  of  social  mobilization  advocacy  and  behavior  change  communication.

In February 2017, she was the only female aspirant in the Wa municipality to have applied for the position of the Municipal Chief Executive, the first time ever a female dared to stand for that position. She was shortlisted as part of the aspirants to take part in the interview. She sailed through the interview successfully but couldn’t make it to the position.

In June 2017, she was selected as the Mandela Washington fellow (Obama Initiative launched in 2010) together with other young African leaders to undertake a six (6) week academic course in the USA. She was sent to Texas Tech University, Lubbock where she undertook a course in Public Management.

She was also featured on a couple of TV stations in the U.S to talk about her experience as a Fellow. Whilst in the U.S, she took up the title Officer Lee after a Police Ride Along and her colleagues affectionately call her by that. 

She is also a finalist of the MTN Heroes of Change 2018 (a programme to reward social change agents in Ghana). Her teen mother project which seeks to educate teenage mothers who had dropped out of school by sending them back to school whilst giving some of the mother’s vocational training was selected as part of the 2018 MTN heroes of change in the Education category.

As  Executive  Director, she  has provided  strategic  leadership  that  has  transformed  Teen Talk  Ghana  into  one  of  the  leading  local  non-governmental organizations  championing  the  rights  of  girls, young  women  and  teenagers  in the  northern  part  of Ghana.

As  a  professional  teacher  who teaches  French  language, she has been  able  to  use  her position  to  encourage  a  lot  of  young  people  especially  girls  to  learn  French  as  a  foreign  language.

Officer Lee loves to travel, sing, dance and involve in community education in her leisure. She loves Tuozaafi, Banku and tilapia.

She is currently the Manager in charge of Advocacy and Campaigns at the Nation Builder’s Corps. The Nation Builder’s Corps programme is a Stop Gap measure by the President of Republic of Ghana His excellency President Akuffo Addo  to address graduate unemployment in the country. The scheme has employed a hundred thousand (100,000) graduates under seven modules namely, Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, Digitize Ghana, Civic Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Feed Ghana

Fellow of the week: Ama Duncan, MSc

Ama Duncan is Founder of The Fabulous Woman Network (The FWN) where she conducts activities to economically empower women.

Through The FWN, she has created Fub Hub Ashanti – a co-working office and event space for women-led startups, organised entrepreneurial development events for over 1000 women and shared life-changing stories of 200 fabulous women reaching over 10,000,000 people on social media.

Ama has over 14 years’ experience in Human Resources Development and is Founder of Corporate Training Solutions (CTS) through which she has trained over 1000 professionals. She is also a facilitator for the British Council Jobs For Youth project as well as the No Business As Usual Hub Youth Entrepreneurship and Employability Program.

She mentors women and youth, speaks on radio, television and in conferences including Science Forum South Africa and National Treasure Conference, Dubai.

Ama is the Author of Yarns of inspiration I and Networking Made Easy, an Access Bank W Ambassador and a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow.

With a Masters in Business Administration from Paris Graduate School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Ghana, Ama is committed to working towards an Africa in which women and youth are economically empowered to create wealth.

Mandela Washington Fellowship exchange programme distributes reusable pads to over 700 girls in Talensi

A 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow and a nurse with Ghana Health Service at Pelungu Health Center in the Nabdam District, Maxwell Kumbeni through a reciprocal exchange programme funded by the US Department of State has embarked on menstrual hygiene management project with Junior High Schools in Talensi District in the Upper East Region of Ghana.

The programme which is executed by Maxwell Kumbeni and Karen Lied, a Nurse at Kettle Moraine Middle and High School in Dousman, Wisconsin, USA is to teach girls in the region about menstrual hygiene. According to the mission of the project, menstrual hygiene is inadequately managed by most girls in rural schools in Ghana due to lack of knowledge of self-care practices, lack of sanitary pads, inadequate sanitation facilities in school as well as lack of support from parents.

These factors are known to be contributing to school absenteeism among girls during their menstrual periods. Since 2016, Mr. Kumbeni has volunteered in the area of menstrual hygiene especially among school girls in basic schools in the Talensi District by teaching them menstrual self-care practices and how to manage minor symptoms of menstruation.

“With our current programme we are in 12 Junior high schools in Talensi district and we are distributing to the girls reusable sanitary pads as well as teaching them how to use and maintain them hygienically. We have so far distributed over 700 reusable pads to 10 schools.  We are also teaching them how to make their own reusable sanitary pads with local material available to them” Mr. Kumbeni said.

“We are also engaging boys in those schools on the scientific facts of menstruation and how they can support girls to have a comprehensive menstrual management both in school and at home. Parent play an important role in menstrual management and for the first time, we have invited mothers of girls yet to start menstruation and engaged them on the basics of menstruation and menstrual hygiene. This is to enable them support their daughters when they begin to menstruate. The teachers have also been given basic tips on how to support girls during menstruation” Mr. Kumbeni added.

The ultimate goal of this programme is to get all the relevant stakeholders on board to work towards reducing menstrual related school absenteeism. It is not acceptable in this 21st century for a girl to stay away from school because of menstruation and we are working gradually towards eliminating that.

Fellow of the week: Major Dr. Eunice Osei-Mensah

Profile of Major Dr. Eunice Osei-Mensah

Major Dr Eunice Osei-Mensah is a very talented and experienced Senior Medical Officer. She is also a Senior Military Officer in the Ghana Armed Forces with the rank of a Major. She has more than five years of experience in hospital and clinic settings, including acute and primary care. She also has an extensive background working with underprivileged, poor and war stricken population. She is highly familiar with diagnosis and treatment of multiple disease states and health concerns.  She is able to establish strong rapport with all patient. She has adept knowledge at communicating with patients, relatives, specialists and nursing staff.  She speaks fluent English and Russian.

Major Dr Osei-Mensah attained a scholarship from The Otumfuo Educational Fund to pursue medicine after excelling in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE). She had her professional training from Lugansk State Medical University, Ukraine and the Ghana Military Academy. She is a registered member of the Ghana Medical and Dental Council and the Ghana Armed Forces Medical Council. She has attained a significant number of Professional and Academic milestones which includes certificates on Diabetes management, Oncology for non-oncologist training, Medical ethics, Mental health awareness training, Training on HIV Counselling, Peer Education Training on HIV/AIDS, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse for military contingent and has undertaken the United States Department of State Command and Staff Operational skills Course.           

Major 1 as she is affectionately called served as the Senior Medical Officer in charge of over 500 Ghanaian peacekeeping troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was also directly in charge of two of United Nations Level 1 hospitals for Ghanaian Peacekeeping troop located in Kinshasa and Kisangani.  She provided primary care to United Nations permanent staff, civilian workers and their dependents in Kinshasa. She organised free medical screening exercises for the underprivileged people in Kinshasa and Kisangani and also provide free HIV counselling and voluntary testing for the locals and other organisations on request. She occasionally provided acute and emergency care and support for the Congolese locals working on attachment with the United Nations for free.

Major Dr Eunice Osei-Mensah is a member of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) network and a proud 2018 cohort leader for the Mandela Washington Fellowship. She had her fellowship training at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University in New York. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Leadership and Management at the University of Ghana Business School and also a Master Degree in Public Health at the University Of Ghana School Of Public Health.

 Major is currently stationed at the 37 Military Hospital, where she works as one of the Physicians at the Military Polyclinic. She provides primary patient care for uniform personnel of the Ghana Army, Ghana Navy and the Ghana Air force. She makes diagnoses of diseases, prescribe medications, and determines the necessity of hospitalization and or referral to specialist. Her hobbies are dancing, singing and travelling for site seeing. She is happily married to an Executive Officer in the Ghana Navy and is blessed with a very beautiful and intelligent daughter.