Yvonne Gyefour (MBA ’20) is a Customer Marketing Manager at Unilever, Ghana, specialising in the personal care division. She describes her road to ALU, her key learnings so far and her advice to ALUSB aspirants. Get to know and be inspired by Yvonne’s career, her ALU and her legacy!
Yvonne’s arrival in Kigali for course orientation coincided with ALU’s first-ever graduation ceremony. From the snippet of the ceremony she was able to witness, she was highly motivated and reassured of her decision to study at ALU School of Business (ALUSB). Two months down the line, she speaks highly of her experience in ALUSB, tracing her superlative emotions from the all-absorbing intensives in Kigali to the enriching online interactions with her classmates at present. She describes her classmates as awesome – mid-career professionals from various countries with diverse experiences, and similar aspirations.
Weighing in retrospect, her attraction to ALU, Yvonne says, “two main things attracted me to ALU School of Business. One: The networking. Two: The Pan Africanism. Being well established in Ghana was not enough. I have a huge pan-African interest, and like Kwame Nkrumah said, we need unity to make an impact on the continent.”
Considerably, Yvonne’s road to ALU was paved by her desire for a transition from a national to a pan-African outlook/ impact. This transition is already happening on the fast wheels of the ALUSB Leadership Lab and the Doing Business in Africa course.
On Leadership Lab, Yvonne has the most fulfilled words. The programme has given her the opportunity to step back in introspection and be deliberate about the things that she does as a leader. She expresses her love and new-found devotion to ALUSB’s V^3 leadership paradigm, which is hinged at the intersection of virtue, value, and vision for true African leadership.
Yvonne’s goal for social impact in Africa primarily targets women and youth. She aims to help women get access to funding and training so they can expand their businesses, afford education for their children and live better lives. She strongly believes in the creativity and industriousness of Africans. She asks the average African youth, “what if you can do this if given adequate support, such that eventually, you are able to employ other people?”
In light of these, her key learning outcome from the Doing Business in Africa course has been a cognition of structured approaches to women and youth empowerment. Realising that she’s not the only one committed to these parallel causes, and having brainstorming conversations with like-minded classmates, she is certain of gaining more clarity down the line in addressing the inadequate conditions of women and youth in Africa.
“If you are at that point in your life where you feel like there is more you can do; and if you ever stop to think that there is a reason why you are African, then ALU puts things in perspective for you.” —Yvonne Gyefour, MBA ’20
Yvonne’s moonshot journey at ALUSB might still be at the translunar injection stage, but her realisations so far are quite reminiscent of the actual moon landing and lunar orbit. Her deep learning insights in combination with her inspiring personal drive speak of hope for the African continent. The culmination of her description of the past two months in ALUSB can be found in her choice of the qualifier “greatness” to summarise her journey so far.
She admits that it is ok to have fears and concerns about the travels or the money when considering ALUSB, but advises aspirants to sit back and reflect on their dreams for the African continent. If you want to apply, Yvonne gallantly says, “Just do it. You’re going to get a lot of help along the way, starting from the application phase.”