3. What is YALI?
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was launched by 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
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 now the establishment of Regional Leadership
Centers across Africa.
What are YALI Regional Leadership Centers?
In July 2014, U.S. President Obama announced the creation of four Regional Leadership Centers
in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa. These Centers will serve as regional hubs across
the continent to encourage transformational learning and enhancing leadership skills. The YALI
Regional Leadership Centers are a project of the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) in close partnership with the MasterCard Foundation. Each Regional Leadership Center is
managed under a public/private partnership. The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, located
at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, will serve 14 countries in East and Central Africa. The Center is
overseen by Deloitte East Africa and is supported by a growing number of African and international
The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is more than a location for learning or a venue for
collaboration; it is a philosophy, a forward-leaning culture of diversity that invites dreaming and
thinking differently to define and realize one’s potential. Its programs are inclusive, embracing
future leaders regardless of religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, or disability. Selected
participants age 18-35 will engage in innovative leadership training across three tracks of study
(1) Business and Entrepreneurship, (2) Civic Leadership, and (3) Public Management by immersing
themselves in a 12-week format, three weeks of residential learning on-site at the Center in Nairobi,
eight weeks of virtual distance learning via technology from your home country, and a final week on-
site at the Center in Nairobi for wrap-up and presentations. During the program, participants in each
track will contribute to an interactive and experiential education through project-based development
and achievement both individually and in teams. More information on each track can be found at
1 Source: White House Press Release announcing the YALI initiative, June 29, 2013, Washington, D.C.
EAST AFRICA NAIROBI
4. What are the Specifics of the Three Tracks of Study?
The following three tracks that are part of the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa were
developed to provide the broadest possible leadership experience to participants.
•• Business and Entrepreneurship: This track caters to the range of emerging or aspiring
entrepreneurs who expect to take on leadership roles within the private sector or build their own
business ventures on the continent.
•• Civic Leadership: This track is oriented to those who are or aspire to be civically engaged and
serve the public through non-governmental organizations, community based organizations, or
•• Public Management: This track is tailored to those who work or aspire to work in any level of
government (including elected positions), regional organizations such as the African Union or
the East Africa Community, international organizations such as the United Nations, or other publicly-
minded organizations or think tanks.
More information on these tracks is available at www.yalieastafrica.org.
Are You Ready to Lead?
Who is the next generation of Africa’s business, public and civic leaders? YOU ARE! The YALI Regional
Leadership Center East Africa is looking for young men and women who are ready to embrace
leadership, working hard to achieve their goals as well as to make an impact on their countries. Young
people between the ages of 18 and 35 from Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania
and Uganda are encouraged to apply to the program.
The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is a diverse and dynamic learning environment that
will provide the training, networking, business and entrepreneurial skills to enhance your ability to
lead. The Center will open in July 2015, hosting its first cohort of emerging leaders from throughout
Some of the world’s greatest leaders have been those who made the conscious decision to be part of
the solutions for their countries and regions. Unlock the leadership potential inside you by applying to
be part of what will become a catalyst for East Africa’s future. Are you ready to lead? If so, you can find
out how to apply, the application deadlines, criteria for consideration, and the online application at
www.yalieastafrica.org. We are ready to empower you with the skills and support you need to become
a leader in your community, country, and region.
What is in it for You?
You have a busy life, filled with work and family obligations, so why should you take 12 weeks of your
hard-earned time to participate in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa’s program? Success
requires investment, and your participation in the Center’s programs will pay dividends by linking
you to a network of other young leaders from throughout East Africa; empowering you by enhancing
your skills and confidence to lead; providing guidance from some of the best business and leadership
minds in Africa; and opportunities for internships, among other benefits. The YALI Regional Leadership
Center East Africa could be the portal to your future as a business, public sector, or civic leader, but you
have to take the first step by applying.
5. What Words Describe You?
If these words describe you, go to www.yalieastafrica.org and find out how you can become one of
the next generation of leaders that powers Africa into the future.
flexible team player
fluent in English
inspired and inspiring between 18-35
“A genuine leader is not
a searcher for consensus
but a molder
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
6. What are YALI’s other components?
YALI’s other two components provide opportunities throughout the Continent by training and
empowering tomorrow’s leaders. The initiatives are different, yet have the common goal of creating
a future filled with leadership among Africa’s best and brightest youth. For more information about
YALI, visit www.yali.state.gov.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship
The Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) empowers Africa’s youth from ages 18 to 35 to increase
their career trajectories by contributing to the strengthening of democratic institutions, spurring
economic growth, and enhancing peace and security throughout the Continent. Each year, 500 African
youth participate in this US and Africa-based program, thereby gaining global perspective on
leadership challenges and opportunities and increasing their networks. It continues to be an integral
part of the YALI effort, forging lasting partnerships that will result in positive change.
The YALI Network
The YALI Network is all about connecting young African leaders with resources from the U.S.
Government and one another. One mechanism for doing this is the YALI Network“face2face”groups
that promote dialogue on key issues through events and one-on-one interaction. The YALI Network
is facilitating the creation of interconnected and empowered leaders throughout Africa that draw
experience and support from both outside resources and from each other.
“A leader... is like a shepherd.
He stays behind the flock, letting
the most nimble go out ahead,
whereupon the others follow,
not realizing that all along they
are being directed from behind.“
7. What is the Next Step?
You know the facts, now use what
you know and take action! It’s quick
and easy….just follow the steps at
www.yalieastafrica.org and in a short
time you could be on your way to
a life-changing experience. The YALI
Regional Leadership Center East Africa
is not for everyone and your application
does not guarantee admission…but
you can’t be considered if you don’t
apply! Apply today.
EAST AFRICA NAIROBI
8. This YALI Regional Leadership Center is also generously supported by
EAST AFRICA NAIROBI