Stella Agara is a Governance and Youth Development Specialist with 12 years’ experience working on a broad spectrum of Governance issues and vast experience on the execution of Youth Led Development programs across East and Southern Africa. She has vast experience in promotion of good governance and accountability, youth led development, tax justice with a focus on impact on youth and women, anti-corruption and promotion of integrity, leadership development, policy analysis and legislation, research and evidence based advocacy, training and facilitation, strategic planning, project management, Monitoring, evaluation, reporting & learning and data quality management. She has a background in Law and a PGD in International Relations and Diplomacy.
The unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple
She is the 15th Laureate of the Bremen Solidarity prize, an award she won for her work in tax justice and promotion of Youth Led Development where she campaigns for youth to demand accountability from Governments on the illicit financial flow from the continent. She was also awarded the AU Youth Anti-Corruption Ambassador for East Africa. She is a Nelson Mandela fellow from the Woman in Public Policy program.
Stella previously worked with Action Aid Denmark as a Youth Advisor seconded to Action Aid Malawi. She is a former Deputy Executive Director of the Africa Youth Trust. She also served the Africa Youth Parliament as an internal Consultant on Youth Leadership for Governance Processes in Africa.
She has spent most of her adult life working on promoting youth leadership for governance processes in Africa and particularly leadership with legacy. Her mantra is ‘If it is good for Africa, She loves doing it and she will do it.’
She offers mentorship on design of interventions to promote the participation of the most vulnerable in promotion of governance and accountability. She also mentors in the governance space and tailor makes scenarios that enable her mentees figure out what needs to be done to enable the vulnerable groups they work for to regain power, organize and begin influencing governance from a place of power.
Stella describes mentorship as a two way journey that requires great effort from the mentee and not the reverse. “Mentorship should not be hard work, toil and strife for the mentor, it should be the effort of a mentee who has visualized grace they would like to tap into in a potential mentor; effort to draw, effort to sap into the grace and co-create greatness as a result of the shared experience. At the start of this mentorship you need me more than I need you; work to make sure in the end the relationship is symbiotic, that as a mentor I tap into your grace as you tap into mine. If you have no calling you are committed to then we have no business starting this mentorship journey.”
Her greatest moments in mentorship are usually when her mentees flourish, thrive and take charge of the sectors that they are being mentored on. This, givers her satisfaction when her mentees flourish, thrive and take charge in the sector for which they got mentorship on.
Mentorship is not always rosy, Stella reckons. “I was assigned a mentee who I have never met one on one or had a session with ever since we were first introduced on email. I cannot tell whether it is the distance, the alignment of priorities or otherwise. I count this as a wasted opportunity.”
“I am a product of mentorship; one of my most memorable mentors Ms. Joyce Umbima practically planted every feather on my wings. If I had not pushed my interaction with her and requested for mentorship, the people I mentor today would not be learning the generous lessons I share today. My mentees would have missed out on the quality and efficiency of advocacy that Ms. Umbima represented and imparted upon me, that I continue to share today. My reference to the example of the lost mentorship opportunity as a ‘Wasted Opportunity’ is an understatement, because I know that all great men and women in this world are ‘living vessels’ that opened up to receive grace to be great and most importantly, gave their time to carry the mentors greatness on their shoulders.”
Her advice to professionals who want to join the mentorship journey, “Remember God aligned people, resources and opportunities to get you to where you are today; your only job is to ensure you grow that seed and multiply the army that shall be serving God and promoting a divine agenda in their leadership in your sector. Build an army that will carry the mantle long after you are gone. Freely you have received, freely give.”
Her motivation to mentor young leaders is born from the revelation that we all have a very specific, divine assignment here on earth and limited time.
Her favorite quote, “The unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.” (Psalms 119:130)