In line with the UK’s vision of promoting civic leadership and building a global community of leaders, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office hosts an annual International Leaders Programme for emerging leaders who are transforming their societies through social entrepreneurship, political leadership, technology, civic activism, journalism, music, arts, and other fields. Launched in March 2013, the ILP is designed to create and develop lasting relationships with future leaders who have an impact on the UK’s global interests.
Joining the 2019 cohort is Samson Itodo, Executive Director, YIAGA AFRICA and Convener of the Not Too Young To Run movement. Samson will join 17 other leaders from around the world for the program in London. The programme is shaped according to the broad interests of the group, and will include a range of visits, discussions, and meetings with senior British decision makers and opinion formers. These will include UK leaders in Government (including a visit to No 10 Downing Street, the home of the Prime Minister), Parliament, the media, civil society, education, business and industry. Most of the program is based in London but the team will take a trip to Cambridge as part of the program. In addition to the general program, each participant is offered an option of a bespoke two-day personalised program to facilitate professional development, networking and leadership.
This is the first time a Nigerian will be selected for the program since it’s commencement. This is not surprising as the impact of Samson’s work at YIAGA AFRICA has earned him recognition from international and local organisations. In 2018, he was appointed by the Gates Foundation as a Goal keeper and honoured by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) Washington DC as a Rising Democracy leader in Africa. He is the recipient of The Future Africa Award Young Person of the Year 2018 award and the Leadership Newspaper 2018 Outstanding Young Person of the Year award. Recently, he became a fellow of prestigious Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership program and recipient of the Junior Chamber International, Nigeria 2019 Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Nigeria Award for Political, Legal and or Government Affairs.