US: Obama renames fellowship after Mandela

New York, US (PANA) - US President Barack Obama on Monday in Washington DC, US, renamed the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The fellowship was first launched by Obama in 2010 to support an emerging generation of African leaders as they work to drive economic growth, enhance democratic governance, and strengthen the civil society structures that will help the continent grow and prosper.

Speaking at a town hall with 500 young people from Africa, the US President said that he decided to rename the fellowship to reflect the ideals of Nelson Mandela and his devotion to public service and rule of law.

He noted that the fellowship was meant to connect young African leaders to leadership training opportunities at some of America’s top universities, in order to expand their leadership skills and knowledge.

He disclosed that the programme would reach 1,000 participants each year as from 2016.  

Obama also announced new public-private partnerships to create of programmes, platforms, and support for young African leaders, saying that, "this new investment will include the development of four Regional Leadership Centres in Africa, a vast array of online classes and resources, along with seed funding, mentoring, and networking opportunities."

The US leader said the centres will be located in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and South Africa, and each will be run as a public-private partnership, capitalising on the energy and dynamism of the private sector, the knowledge of African and American institutions, as well as educational resources of the US government.  

"The centres also will focus on engaging young leaders from a wide range of organisations and backgrounds and with a diversity of experiences," he added.

The fellowship currently brings 500 of Africa’s most dynamic young leaders to the US each year for six weeks of leadership training, networking and mentoring at top US universities.  

The training and mentorship are focused on three areas, namely business and entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and public administration.  

On returning home, the fellows will have access to professional development opportunities, mentoring, networking, training, and seed funding to support their ideas, businesses and organisations.
-0-   PANA AA/AR  28July2014

28 july 2014 17:15:54

xhtml CSS