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, 3-week residential (on-site at the Center in Nairobi), 8-week virtual
(distance learning via technology from the country of a participant’s residence), and a 1-week
residential (on-site at the Center in Nairobi) wrap up and presentation session. During the program,
participants in each track will contribute to an interactive and experiential education through projectbased development and achievement both individually and in teams. More information on each track
can be found at http://www.yalieastafrica.org.
1 Source: White House Press Release announcing the YALI initiative, June 29, 2013, Washington, D.C.
EAST AFRICA NAIROBI
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 publiclyminded organizations or think tanks.
More information on these tracks is available at http://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, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan,
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
http://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.