The British Council’s Future Leaders Connect was a convergence of exceptional young leaders, carefully selected to become a member of a network of global policy leaders coordinated by the British Council. Strathmore Business School Alumni; Sahil Shah – from the Master of Public Policy and Management Programme and Dr. Stella Bosire – Master of Business Administration-Healthcare Management, were among the four young Kenyans who were declared winners in the final selection for the British Council’s Future Leaders Connect Programme 2018.
The programme is a flagship project of the British Council and seeks to connect, empower and equip young people from 11 countries across the globe with policy and leadership expertise.
Applications for the programme kicked off in February 2018 and attracted 1,321 submissions from Kenyan youths who hoped to secure one of the four slots allocated for Kenya in the global programme. Following extensive interviews, seven candidates were shortlisted for the final round of selection.
One candidate dropped out at the final stage leaving six contesters to fight for the coveted slots.
Candidates had exactly four minutes to convince a panel of three judges alongside a selected audience of 200 people why their policy idea would make the world a better place.
The Judges of the day were Irũngũ Houghton, Executive Director of Amnesty International Kenya, TerryAnne Chebet, Chief Executive Officer of Fanaka TV and the new British Council Country Director Ms Jill Coates.
The six contestants took to stage, with their ideas covering key areas including Universal Health Coverage, Food Security, Children’s welfare, Entrepreneurship and the Environment.
In 2017, there were more slots that saw six Kenyans young leaders from 10 other countries in the programme. The six were Simon Wanda, Simon Ndirangu, Carol Radoli, Victoria Mwirichia, Tim Kipchumba and Christine Mwangi who is one of the faculty members at Strathmore Business School. They visited the UK Houses of Parliament and met the Elders, a group of prominent international figures including former UN Secretary-General, the Late Kofi Annan. While sharing their experience, the cohorts cited networking, inspiration, and leadership nurturing among the greatest benefits of being in the Future Leadership Connect Programme.
MCA Shamsa Omar.
Her global policy idea is to fight gender-based violence through effective local intervention and women empowerment. Shamsa currently serves as the chairperson of Gender, Culture and Community Service Committee in Wajir. She holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Peace Building and Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia and BA in Sociology from the Moi University. Her experience gained through education and networking with people from all walks of life is the fuels her zeal to end violence against women and girls through social and economic empowerment.
Desma Natome is a policy analyst with Kenya Revenue Authority. Her policy idea is to ease environmental degradation through what she refers to as carbon tax or pollution tax on environmental polluters heavily, to discourage them from degrading the environment. Desma holds a BSc. in Financial Economics and a KESRA Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA) training in Taxes.
Policy economist Sahil Shah was the only man representing Kenya in Future Leadership Connect programme 2018. His idea is to help people build sustainable wealth through fewer but highly impactful enterprises. He works as the Project Lead of the Kenya Business Guide, a private sector development think-tank aimed at improving the business environment in Kenya. Sahil holds a BA in History from the University of Bristol, UK; a Master in Public Policy and Management from Strathmore Business School and a Certificate in Global Leadership from the New York University Wagner School of Public Service, USA.
Dr Stella Bosire.
Dr Bosire is passionate about delivering quality services from the perspective of Human rights, Law, and public health agenda. She holds a bachelor’s in medicine and Surgery from the University of Nairobi, a Master of Science in Global Health Policy from the University of London (LSHTM) and a Master in Business Administration-Healthcare Management from Strathmore Business School.
The four finalists will join fellow cohorts from 11 countries that took place part in the 2018 programme including Canada, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia, USA plus the four nations of the UK: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as they travel to UK in October, 2018 to meet with heads of policy organisations, policymakers and British MPs.