President Barack Obama has announced other activities in addition to the existing ones characterizing the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
The announcement comes following the hosting of another batch of 500 young Africans at various universities in the United States to study in various areas including Civil Service, Public Management and Entrepreneurship.
In the President’s pronouncement, he said the Mandela Washington Fellowship (otherwise known as YALI) Regional Leadership Center (RLC) now opens in Accra, Ghana.
Additionally, up to 80 Americans will participate in a reverse exchange next year, traveling to Africa to work directly with Mandela Washington Fellow Alumni and other young people and institutions across the continent.
As a result of high growth of the membership of YALI Network in the tone of 140,000, members will now have access to expanded online courses, including three new online courses called the “Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute.”
President Obama also affirmed that next year the Mandela Washington Fellowship will expand to 1,000 participants.
This summer, YALI Regional Leadership Centers have begun providing leadership training to young Africans between the ages of 18 and 35, further expanding YALI’s reach.
These innovative and technology rich Centers in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa will reach every country in sub-Saharan Africa.
The first Center, located in Nairobi, Kenya welcomed its inaugural group of 80 young leaders in July and hosted President Obama for his civil society town hall during his recent visit to Kenya.
In Accra, Ghana, the Regional Leadership Center covering much of West Africa welcomes and begins training 100 motivated and talented young Africans. The four Centers will train approximately 3,500 young African leaders annually. Admission to the Centers is merit-based, broadly representative of each Center’s region and diversity, and will have gender-balanced participation.
To ensure that the Centers provide relevant, quality training, each is designed to include a broad array of public-private partnerships, building upon the assets of African institutions and the resources of the United States.
YALI RLC partners include Microsoft, McKinsey & Company, Procter & Gamble, and many others who have committed more than $80 million of financial and in-kind resources in support of the Centers. The MasterCard Foundation, a premier partner, recently expanded its contribution to the YALI Regional Leadership Centers by committing an additional $5 million in financial resources.
The expansion of YALI programs over the past five years has allowed the U.S. government to connect with more young Africans than ever before.
To date, tens of thousands of young African men and women have increased their skills, professional networks, and resolve in driving positive change in Africa. YALI is providing opportunities for young Africans to enhance their leadership skills and create meaningful ties with American citizens, businesses, organizations, and each other.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of YALI, the President’s signature initiative launched in 2010 to deepen the United States’ engagement with the youth of Africa. YALI supports young African leaders as they work to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across the continent.
Since the completion of their Fellowship experience in the United States, Class of 2014 Fellows are reportedly building innovative businesses, connecting with American and African investors, forging new relationships with young leaders across African nations, and serving their communities with skills developed during the Fellowship.