The Young African Leaders Initiative, commonly known as YALI, develops leadership and entrepreneurship skills and connects participants with their peers and with the American people.  Established in 2010, YALI is the oldest and most robust of the regional youth initiatives co-managed and implemented by the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development. YALI enjoys strong support in the United States, in Congress, in the academic community, and across Africa.  

Today, YALI consists of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which began in 2014 and is funded and managed by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the online YALI Network created in 2013 and managed by the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, and four USAID Regional Leadership Centers established in 2015 on the continent.  

USAID’s four Regional Leadership Centers (Nairobi, Dakar, Accra, and Pretoria) are housed at leading African higher education institutions and provide YALI leadership training programs to young leaders between the ages of 18 and 35 in English, French, and Portuguese.  The centers provide young leaders across business, civil society, and government with in-person or virtual, six-to-seven-week training opportunities followed by professional development, including sector specific certifications, and networking opportunities for alumni.  

Click here to find out more information on the Regional Leadership Centers.

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