President Barrack Obama on Saturday announced the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the new flagship program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Obama made this announcement during a town hall meeting with an audience of dynamic young leaders from South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Beginning in 2014, the program will bring more than 500 young African leaders to the United States each year for leadership training and mentoring.
It will also create unique opportunities in Africa for Fellows to use their new skills to propel economic growth and prosperity, and strengthen democratic institutions.
The Fellowship, according to the first black American president, will:
Â· Invest in a new generation of young African leaders who are shaping the continent’s future.
Â· Respond to the strong demand by young African leaders for practical skills that can help them take their work to the next level in the fields of public service and business.
Â· Deepen partnerships and connections between the United States and Africa.
Â· Build a prestigious network of young African leaders who are at the forefront of change and innovation in their respective sectors.
Washington Fellows will primarily be between 25 and 35 years old, have a proven track record of leadership in a public, private, or civic organization, and demonstrate a strong commitment to contributing their skills and talents to building and serving their communities.