Today, at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C., Vice President Kamala Harris announced plans to work with Congress to fund a U.S. government investment of more than $100 million in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
As part of this expansion and in collaboration with partners, USAID will create the Young African Leaders Exchange, the first pan-African virtual platform that will enable the Diaspora and other key stakeholders to connect directly with nearly 28,000 YALI alumni from 49 sub-Saharan countries since YALI was launched in 2010. The Exchange will promote networking, strengthen the role of mentors and coaches, showcase initiatives, enhance women and marginalized youth’s leadership, and support young African leaders to access grant or internship opportunities.
The additional funding will expand YALI’s training and mentoring of young African women and men with leadership skills to generate transformational change in their communities, countries, and continent. These funds will also enable YALI to harness the support of the private sector, African Diaspora, and governments to increase economic opportunities, digital connectivity, gender equality, women’s empowerment, and social inclusivity, and empower young African leaders working in business and entrepreneurship, public management, and civic leadership.
The new investment will also facilitate the first pan-African YALI Alumni Expo and Trade Show, which will feature the innovations of alumni and foster their connection with experts and officials from the private sector, civil society, government, and the Diaspora community.
Launched in 2010, the Young African Leaders Initiative has demonstrated how providing skill sets to individuals can change lives and address challenges in communities and countries across the African continent. For more information on USAID’s Young African Leaders Initiative, visit www.usaid.gov/yali