The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was launched by former President of the United States Barack Obama as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. The need to invest in grooming strong, results-oriented leaders comes out of the statistics: nearly 1 in 3 Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60% of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35.
Who will empower and lead these young Africans? Who will shape the future of business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management? In order to answer these questions, YALI promotes three models designed to identify and empower young leaders: the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, YALI Network, and the Regional Leadership Centers across Africa.To learn more about the three components of YALI, please view this video https://www.facebook.com/U.S.EmbassyNairobi/videos/10153783687858694/.
Eligibility and Criteria
Competition for the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is merit-based and open to young East African leaders who meet the following criteria:
- Are 18 to 35 years of age at the time of application submission,
- Are citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Burundi, Central African Republic. Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda,
- Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S.
- Are eligible to receive any necessary visa to Kenya, and
- Are proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking English.
Awards and Benefits
- Selected participants will engage in leadership training across three tracks of study: (1) Business and Entrepreneurship, (2) Civic Leadership, and (3) Public Management in a 4-week residential format with a focus on individual and team leadership skills, innovation, creative learning, and communication.
- The program’s emphasis is on interactive and experiential learning which fosters each participant’s ability to contribute both individually and in teams.
- Participants in each track contribute to an interactive and experiential education model by
working both individually and in teams.
- In addition to the immersive curriculum over the 4-week program, participants also have parallel learning opportunities: (1) working with fellow participants on a group project, (2) optional individual mentor engagement, (3) community service and (4) guest speakers.
- As part of their learning, participants collaborate to address a challenge posed by an organization involved in each of the three thematic areas (Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership and Public Management).
- Working together, each group of 5-6 participants from different countries must utilize the tools and knowledge they glean during the program and apply them to the Design Challenge process, a human centered approach to innovation.
- The Design Challenge is meant to encourage participants to work jointly to overcome technical problems, communication barriers, and issues related to diversity to create a meaningful and relevant solution that is presented to the sponsoring organization during Week 4.
- Organizations benefit from the process when they choose to actively implement the solutions and strategies that are presented by the winning team.
- One of the most important questions after the 4-week program is: what’s next? Alumni will have ongoing opportunities to connect, continue their learning, help to shape future cohorts of the program, and apply the lessons, tools, and techniques learned to benefit their communities.
- Participants have the opportunity to be matched with a mentor for the duration of the program and potentially to continue once the Mentee has completed the program.
- Having a Mentor allows a participant to engage in a one-to-one relationship with an experienced individual who can coach the participant’s personal and professional development.
- Mentor profiles are entered into a closed-access mentorship portal from which participants can select a Mentor based upon his/her specific experiences, skills, and goals. Mentors are recruited on an ongoing basis.
How To Apply
To apply please click here