The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a signature effort by the United States government to invest in the next generation of African leaders as they catalyze change in their communities, country, and continent. YALI consists of three programs designed to identify potential in and empower young people ages 18-35 from diverse backgrounds across the continent: the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF), the online YALI Network, and the four YALI Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs), based in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa. The YALI Regional Leadership Centers and Mandela Washington Fellowship programs provide experiential leadership training, support to build and expand networks, and encourage Young Africans to harness their leadership potential in three distinct tracks: 1) Business and Entrepreneurship, 2) Civic Leadership and 3) Public Management.
In the six years since their launch, YALI RLCs have been successful in providing transformational experiences to over 20,000 promising young people who are innovators, problem-solvers and self-starters and helping them form a strong, supportive network that accelerates their growth as leaders. YALI alumni take pride in being part of a movement of passionate individuals who are joining forces to create positive change in their communities. These young leaders are building new businesses and scaling existing ones, creating jobs within their communities, delivering critical social services to marginalized districts, and influencing governments on key policy issues.