MILWA provides training, mentoring and coaching, institutional support, research and publications and retreats.

Training in Leadership and Personal Development

General and customised training sessions are organised for individuals and organisations in the following areas:

  • Training in Ethical and Principled Leadership
  • Training in Leadership for Conflict Transformation
  • Training in Leadership for NGO Management
  • Training in Dialogue, Mediation and Reconciliation

Information Technology

Technology Training and Empowerment will be part of MILWA’s Training because it is imperative to the survival of our institutions and also to the Africans youth in this ever changing technological world.

Technology is constantly changing and this training will allow our institutions and our youth to keep abreast of current, new and up and coming cutting edge technologies. Our technology training will focus on the following areas: web development, networking, software development, VOIP implementation, mobile application development, data warehousing, database development, server farm setup, cyber security and other emerging technologies.

The youth will receive hands on training, travel to see different technology firms, and have challenging projects to expand brain capacity beyond their imaginations. In turn, allowing our youths to think outside their current surrounding into the world of infinite possibilities. With such training in hand, the youth of this region will be empowered to create new or improve current technologies to better the advancement of Africa.

Also this technological training is central to MILWA’s institutional capacity building component which will focus on enhancing the performance of organizations, whether governmental or non-governmental.  

This program will focus on putting in place crucial systems such as servers, network system and databases to house, protect and secure organizational IP (Intellectual Properties) from outside intrusion.etc.

Our Internship Program

MILWA’s internship provides aspiring leaders the opportunity to translate theory into practice, grow professionally, strengthen their leadership skills and broaden their professional contacts with successful leaders in the private and public sectors in West Africa.

The internship program is designed to enhance soft skills including team-work, interpersonal relationship, leadership, presentation, communication, time management, program design and implementation, problem solving.

All students, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and early-career workers are encouraged to apply as well as Africans in the Diaspora who need hands-on African experience in Africa.

Our Coaching Program

Coaching is a vital means to constantly learn invaluable skills and experience directly from experienced professionals. Great athletes, artists, scientists, and leaders in private and public life do have coaches. Coaching can help candidates break through difficult situations. Our coaching program is framed to guide leaders in private and public institutions to enhance performance and achieve results.

The value of MILWA’s coaching program is to help a leader become greater in various aspects to enhance personal and organizational performances; create greater work/life balance; improve employee morale;; clarify organizational values; understand conflict management, promote team building, etc.

Institutional Support

MILWA will provide organizational development expertise to local and regional NGOs as well as government institutions. The Madiba Institute will oversee the implementation of organizational development and institutional strengthening technical assistance to institutions with weak organizational capacities by helping them to identify areas of need for capacity building and training. These training and coaching will help establish the system that will enhance their performance and restore the confidence of their partners. MILWA will develop training curriculum as needed in the area of organizational development, leadership, management and governance. The program will focus specifically on: Organizational Identity; Financial and Other Systems Administration; Long-Range Strategy Plan; Long-Range Fund-Raising Plan; Annual Operational Plan; Board Development Plan; Staff Development and Organizational Culture.

Support is provided in the following areas:

  • Programme/project assessments and evaluations
  • Organisational Development
  • Facilitation of Workshop/Conference/High-level Meetings
  • Mentoring and Coaching

Research and Publication

Building a new culture of progressive and principled leadership throughout the West Africa necessitates the documentation and dissemination of various leadership experiences from across the region’s diverse communities. The research component of MILWA will therefore aim to develop high calibre, timely, relevant and impactful research products on a number of leadership themes that resonate throughout the Institute. Relevant and impactful research on leadership should be rooted in and derived from experiences and practices, so that the knowledge produced both reflects a pragmatic and contextualised understanding of processes, decisions, and actions and ensures that the research remains applicable to future cases and situations.

MILWA will also encourage West African authorship on relevant topics concerning leadership juxtaposed against and assessments of current social and political dynamics throughout the region. In this light, it will strive to become a conduit for individuals (especially highlighting youth and women authors from the region, as well as members of the African in diaspora) to publish selected works. The MILWA staff will also be responsible for developing and publishing content on leadership.


MILWA organises retreats for individuals and groups on special requests as well as part of our programme. A regular retreat is the Annual Leadership Academy


MILWA envisions becoming a leading leadership institution in West Africa and strives to build a new generation of visionary, transformative, progressive and ethical leaders. At the core of MILWA will be the MILWA Annual Leadership Academy, comprised of four different thematic topics (each program will be held for 2-3 weeks) within a given year. The Initiative will select approximately thirty emerging youth leaders (between the ages of 18-40 from West Africa and guide them through a multi-dimensional and holistic programme focusing on different leadership themes.  After successfully completing the programme each year, MILWA envisions that the same group of participants would participate in all of the Annual Leadership Initiative’s phases throughout a given year to create stronger bonds between the participants and MILWA, and more importantly, between the participants themselves. Building a cohesive participant group over the course of a year should contribute to more open dialogue between the participants and therefore lead to improved exchange of ideas, networking and dynamic collaboration. The participants will form a growing body of alumni who will then promote ethical practice in private and public life in West Africa.

The Annual Leadership Academy’s curriculum strives to provide the participants with an intensive and immersive experiential learning. The core of the curriculum’s activities include training sessions that include presentations and panels with experts and visiting lecturers, dialogue forums and debates, collaborative group assignments, and extensive simulated exercises. Where relevant, MILWA include field visits within Senegal – the Goree Islands, Saint-Louis and other renowned organizations in West Africa since Dakar serves as the regional headquarters for most organisations.

The MILWA Annual Leadership Initiative’s work will be built upon the following three distinct but interrelated themes:


Phase 1: Leadership for the 21st Century

This first phase will focus on examining and questioning the evolving notions and best practices of leadership for the 21st century. The beginning of this three-week phase will serve as an introduction to the entire programme, and will also be important for dissecting participants’ understandings and experiences of leadership in their own communities as well as broadly throughout West Africa. The important thrust of this first phase is to strengthen the participants’ understanding of leadership principles and practices while building group cohesion and stimulating critical reflection.

Module 1: Leadership and Personal Development (Week 1)

  • Module will include sessions on: (1) Introduction and Expectations of Initiative; (2) Defining leadership challenges and opportunities for the 21st century; (3) Assessment of leadership in West Africa’s history; (4) Characteristics for ethical and integrity-based leadership; (5) Reflections on leadership and personal and community development.

Module 2: Leadership and Diversity Management (Week 2)

  • Module will include sessions on: (1) Socio-cultural diversity in West Africa; (2) Examination of leadership and human rights in West Africa; (3) Reinvigorating gender equality in West Africa; (4) Leadership and the promotion of tolerance and diversity.

 Module 3: Leadership in Civic Engagement and Social Activism (Week 3)

  • Module will include sessions on: (1) Principles and practices of civic education and engagement; (2) Trends in social activism and advocacy in West Africa; (3) Civic engagement and social protest in West Africa – strategies, successes, and challenges; (4) Best practices of social mobilisation and advocacy campaigns; (5) The evolving space for and role civil society organisations and community institutions.


Phase 2: Leadership and Strengthening Public Institutions

This second phase will examine how principled, progressive and ethical leadership remains essential towards building effective and inclusive public institutions. This two-week phase will critically examine the importance of leadership in public institutions, provide an overview of public policy and legislative processes, and highlight the importance of leadership in formulating, implementing, and evaluating public policies. The role of leadership in governance will be amongst the central themes during this session. During this phase, participants will examine public institutions at local, national, sub-regional, regional and continental levels.

 Module 4: Leadership, public institutions, and policy processes (Week 4)

  • Module will include sessions on: (1) Overview and interrogation of public institutions and policy processes at national levels; (2) Lessons from democratic governance in West Africa’s history; (3) Current issues and future trends in leadership and governance in West Africa; (4) West Africa in Africa: role of ECOWAS and the AU and promotion of good governance and leadership; (5) Engagements between civil society, community organisations, and public institutions; (6) Understanding and eliminating corruption in public service.

Module 5: Leadership and the Role of M&E (Week 5)

  • The first aspect of M&E will focus on MILWA own programming.  The aim will be to demonstrate the impacts of MILWA’s work beyond the training and coaching and demonstrate that it fundamentally changing the face of leadership in West Africa using the result-based framework.


Phase 3: Leadership in the Security Sector

The third phase of the Initiative will strive to engage the participants on leadership issues in the context of West Africa’s evolving peace and security landscape. Recognising both the unique history of peace and security challenges in the region, as well as the current internal and transnational security threats that continue to inhibit sustained socio-economic progress, this phase will unpack and explore the topics of conflict management, dialogue, and reconciliation. This phase will explicitly examine these issues through a communal lens, so that the participants can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to become proactive and constructive in supporting their own communities. Further, this phase will extol the importance of dialogue as a foundation for promoting reconciliation and healing.

Module 6: Leadership and Inclusive Security (Week 6)

  • Module will include sessions on: (1) Historical assessment of leadership and conflict in West Africa; (2) Overview of current conflict dynamics in West Africa; (3) Introduction to conflict analysis methodologies; (4) Foundations of negotiation and mediation skills; (5) Conflict management leadership and international institutions – trends and projections for West Africa.

Module 7: Leadership, Dialogue, and Reconciliation (Week 7)

  • Module will include sessions on: (1) Key skills of group facilitation; (2) Reconciliation in principle versus practice (3) Case studies of reconciliation initiatives in West Africa; (4) How to design and implement community-based facilitation exercises; (5) Reconciliation in society: the use of art, culture, and sports as mediums for reconciliation.

Module 8: Leadership and Personal Development – Conclusions (Week 8)

  • This module will serve as a wrap-up and conclusion for the entire initiative. This week-long session will reflect on the collective objectives established in Week 1, review the key lessons and accomplishments of the Initiative, and outline future collaboration between MILWA and the participants (then to become alumni).

The sessions’ curriculum will derive from the Institute’s knowledge and body of practice, but will also be developed in cooperation with the participants and target audience to customise and ensure the relevancy of the programme.