By Olimatou Coker
The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) on Monday opened a regional course on developing leadership and management skills for middle-level officers and senior executives.
The objective is to empower participants with the necessary skills and techniques on the principles and concepts of leadership and management in both the public and private sectors.
The course is also expected to enable middle and senior level executives learn and apply advanced techniques in managing the different generations in the workplace.
Dr. Alvin Johnson, Director, Governance and Institutional Development Department at WAIFEM, said developing leadership and management skills plays a vital role in driving organizational success. He said effective leadership does not only influence the productivity and performance of teams but also has a profound impact on employee engagement and professional growth.
“By investing in leadership and management skills development, organizations can cultivate the essential skills and competencies required to navigate complex challenges, foster a positive work environment, and inspire their workforce to achieve their full potential. Leadership training empowers individuals to develop strong communication, decision-making, and problem-solving skills, enabling them to lead with confidence and adapt to ever-evolving demands. Through targeted skill development initiatives, organizations can enhance employee engagement, foster a culture of collaboration, and create a supportive and inclusive workplace,” he explained.
He added that investment in leadership training and staff development programmes also helps organizations unlock the true potential of their employees to achieve sustainable growth and success.
He said the broad themes to be covered will include cross- function work challenge and corporate leadership, personal leadership philosophy, confidence building and capabilities and also the role of a leader.
“WAIFEM has distinguished itself as a leading capacity-building institution in our subregion and internationally for over two and a half decades. It has achieved this distinction due to its extensive coverage of capacity-building programmes, technical assistance, collaborative partnerships, and networking with reputable international organizations. The Institute has also been involved in important policy interventions through the organization of conferences, roundtable discussions, and publications that are highly regarded by academics and policy makers on national and international levels. As at end August 2023, WAIFEM has delivered 901 capacity-building programmes to 25,177 participants from the sub-region and beyond.”
Dr. Johnson urged the participants to freely interact to derive the maximum benefits. “In spite of the very busy work programme, I would like to invite the participants to make every effort to complete the course”.
Speaking on behalf of the Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia, Baboucarr Cham, Director of Human Resources, said this course is designed to develop leadership skills for the achievement of the organizational goals and objectives.
“Another important characteristic of good leadership is the ability to conceive team building. The best ways in getting assignments or things done is where a leader encourages teamwork and collaboration, inspires and motivates team members to make meaningful contributions towards the mission and vision of the organization. Great leaders work towards developing great teams. It is therefore apparent that leaders with these qualities can help build good working relationships amongst team members, have motivated and efficient workers to increase productivity and satisfaction.”
He added that to enhance productivity there must be good communication between the leaders and team.
He also advised all participants that communication is a key ingredient for the success of a leadership team, and the organization at large.
Cham encouraged all the participants to open lines of communication with their subordinates.