Appointment Notice: Achaleke Christian Leke Appointed Executive Director of Local Youth Corner Cameroon
At the start of the year 2021, the Board of Directors decided to appoint Mr Achaleke Christain Leke as Executive Director of Local Youth Corner Cameroon in keeping with the programmatic reorganization of the work of the organisation. Mr Achaleke will continue in his role as National Coordinator in keeping with the complimentary associative status of the LOYOC Cameroon. Effective 01 February 2021, this decision was made during the Organisation’s first statutory meeting of the Board of Directors which took place on January 15th 2021 in Yaounde.
Mr Achaleke who joined the organisation in 2007 as a volunteer while in secondary school, has grown with it and served in different capacities including; Project Officer, Project Manager, Programmes Manager, Deputy National Coordinator. He was elected National Coordinator in 2014 and has for the past six years, worked tirelessly to transform the Organisation, reorienting its focus and improving programme delivery towards diverse constituencies in Cameroon. In this period, Mr Achaleke has contributed to wide-ranging international and national processes, including high-level policy processes around the use of local solutions to promote peace and social cohesion and to combat the growing phenomenon of youth involvement in violent extremism affecting many nations across the world.
Reflecting on the appointment of Mr Achaleke as Executive Director, Mr Emmanauel Sanyi, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Local Youth Corner Cameroon says:
“ Achaleke who took over complete leadership of this vision in 2014 and has since shown us that everything is possible. With very little support he has been able to transform this community organization we started in 2002 into one of Cameroon’s finest youth-led civil society with a reputation that has changed the perspective about young people both home and abroad. He is an inspiration”
Achaleke’s early days with the organization saw him supporting the Organizations programmes through theatre. Upon ascending leadership, Achaleke was able to look beyond the financial realities within youth-civil society to build a team of young people to serve the organization and work toward building a well managed and accountable institution. Among his achievements as National Coordinator, Achaleke tripled the impact of the organization from the delivery of three projects annually to over seven, and growing the partnership and funding record to over 100 projects between the years 2017 and 2020.
Under his leadership, Mr Achaleke has successfully expanded LOYOC’s impact to the 10 regions of the country and has led the creation of two regional branches of the organization in the Southwest Region and the Far North Regions. Achaleke equally extended the institution’s mandate to monitoring and evaluation, research and publishing with over 4 books and 6 articles published between 2017 to 2020. Under his leadership opportunities for paid employment have been created for many young people, with a current staff capacity of 20 paid and serving full time, 10 volunteers/interns and over 50 consultants and experts engaged each year.
Achaleke has grown from a volunteer and community activist to an acclaimed development professional on the National as well as the international stage. Achaleke has served as an expert with several national and international organizations including; Government Ministries in Cameroon and abroad, the Commonwealth Secretariat, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, OECD, the World Bank and several diplomatic missions in Cameroon. He obtained an MSc in International Development from the University of Birmingham, the United Kingdom as a Chevening Scholar in 2017. He has occupied several national and international positions including serving
- Cameroon’s Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth;
- Consultant for the Commonwealth Youth Programme as the Chair of the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network 2016-2020;
- Member of the Advisory Council of the International Institute of Justice and the Rule of Law at the University of Malta;
- Member of the Knowledge for Prevention Youth Advisory Committee of The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Securityat the Dalhousie University in Canada. Achaleke has served as an expert with several national and international organisations including UNESCO, Government Ministries in Cameroon and abroad, the Commonwealth Secretariat, UNFPA, UNDP, Embassies, OECD, the World Bank just to name a few.
Reflecting on his appointment, Mr Achaleke says:
“I feel very honoured by this appointment. From day one I never thought I could go this far. It has been a journey of working with amazing colleagues, supported by inspiring mentors, partners and donors. Several times I felt like letting go and taking up a full-time job that could provide stable financial income, but my passion to drive real change in communities kept me here and I must say the joy of impacting lives cannot be compared to any financial gain. There is joy in being a servant and learning how to lead, staying accountable and human. This new role will give me an opportunity to serve better and drive transformative change”
In this new capacity, Achaleke will be responsible for, the overall leadership and management of LOYOC’s operational and administrative functions. Working under the guidance of the LOYOC Board, the Executive Director defines the organization’s strategic vision and is accountable for its implementation and the results achieved.
“Working with Mr Achaleke for the past 5 years has been amazing. He is a visionary and servant leader. He is guided by key moral and ethical values. When people visit us sometimes they wonder who the head is because he is always so humble and interactive. I am convinced he will lead this organisation to the best” –Mr Besong Mallet, Human Resource and Administrative Coordinator, Local Youth Corner Cameroon
Achaleke has earned several National and international recognitions in his career some of which include;
- 2020: Nominated Among 100 Most Influential Africans. By Advance Media.
- 2020:Nominated for Africa Youth Hero of the Year Award by African Silent Hero.
- 2020:Best Youth COVID19 Response in Cameroon. By the Cameroon Government and the UN in Cameroon.
- 2020:Named UNESCO RealLifeHero
- 2020: Winner of Premio Mundo Negro de la Fratenidad (Black World Award) in Spain.
- 2019: Named among 35 Outstanding Chevening Scholars in the world by Chevening Secretariat
- 2019:Nominated for the Mandela Memorial Award by Dennis and Foretia Foundation
- 2018: Named One Young World Peace Ambassador
- 2018:Nominated for the Mandela Memorial Award by Dennis and Foretia Foundation
- 2018:Winner of Luxembourg Peace Prize; Outstanding Youth Peace Maker
- 2018: Nomination among 50 Most Influential Young Cameroonians
- 2017: Winner of Most Influential Young Cameroonian Award for 2016
- 2016 and 2017: Named among 100 Most Influential Young Africans
- 2016: Youth Award of Excellence byMinister of Youth Affairs and Civic Education Cameroon
- 2016: Chevening Scholarship Award by Foreign and Commonwealth Office
- 2016: International Visitors Leadership Program fellow of US Department of State
- 2016: Named Commonwealth Youth Champion by Commonwealth Secretary-General thanks to my contribution to peacebuilding.
- 2016: NamedCommonwealth Young Person of the Year and received by HM Queen Elizabeth II
- 2016: Pan-Commonwealth Winner of the Commonwealth Youth Award of Excellence in Development Work 2016; for outstanding contribution in promoting youth participation in peacebuilding and the fight against violent extremism.
- 2016: Africa Region Winner; Commonwealth Youth Award of Excellence in the domain of youth peacebuilding and fight against violent extremism
- 2015: Winner; Princess Recognition Award for heroic works in promoting youth participation in peacebuilding in Cameroon; by the United States-based initiative.