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President Obama Announces the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders
On Saturday the Obama Administration announced the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Beginning in 2014, the program will bring over 500 young African leaders to the United States each year to U.S. universities for training in public management and administration; business and entrepreneurship; and civic leadership. Training in each of these sectors will focus on the skills young African leaders need to run better ministries, start and grow businesses, and serve their communities. Within the next five years, the initiative aims to grow to 1000 young leaders each year. It will create opportunities in Africa for Fellows to use their new skills to propel economic growth and strengthen democratic institutions.
Washington Fellows will spend six weeks at top American universities and colleges that will provide tailored training in public management and administration; business and entrepreneurship; and civic leadership, leveraging top faculty, cutting-edge curricula, and local opportunities to impart practical professional and leadership training. Formal university training will be augmented by workshops, mentoring, and networking opportunities with leaders in each field, as well as internships across the United States.
U.S. agencies such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank will host Washington Fellows as interns to expose them to the U.S. workplace and practices, and build their technical skills. Washington Fellows will benefit from partnerships with American companies like Boeing, which will provide leadership training at the Boeing Leadership Center in St. Louis to extend Fellows’ campus-based training. The Fellows will have the chance to interact with President Obama during an annual Summit in Washington, D.C., along with other senior U.S. government, business, and civic leaders.
The 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.