It is heartwarming to see that even in the pandemic, the CLP fellows have gone through their training to become Beacons of Excellence. I applaud their ability to quickly adjust to the new set of circumstances and go through the program in its new format.

Our hope is that the experience gives them a deeper perspective on what it means to offer oneself as a leader to the African continent. The COVID-19 pandemic has destabilized many but, it is in times of seeming chaos and turbulence that a leader establishes his or her relevance and gets the first mover advantage. It was in times of uncertainty and turbulence that leaders in the Bible rose to significance.

Such were the accounts of Joseph, Samuel, David, Gideon, Deborah, Ruth, Esther and Daniel. Their most courageous and impactful actions were in times of crisis. It is precisely in these times of uncertainty that Beacons of Excellence are called to lead.

Our hope is that they will shine the light of creativity where there is a shortage of novelty, they will shine the light of resilience where there is weariness and they will shine the light of courage where there is fear. We are expectant that in the years ahead, we will see the fruits of their courage, resilience and creativity being the pivot that propels this continent forward.

I wish them well on this journey and may all they do be blessed.

Shalom!