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Country of the Week: Senegal
April 6, 2017

A message from Martina Boustane, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., U.S. Embassy Dakar:

The U.S. Embassy is proud to engage with you, members of the YALI Network, to help you achieve your goals. Just like you, we are committed to increasing economic growth, advancing peace and democracy, promoting human rights, and investing in the next generation of Senegal’s leaders.

You have demonstrated that loo jiwul doo ko goob. You have taken the initiative by accepting the #YALILearns Challenge and by taking YALI Network Online Courses in a variety of topics from elections, to the rights of women and girls. I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet with YALI Network members who had taken the YALI Network Online Course “Understanding Elections and Civic Responsibility” at the U.S. election night reception in November. When we launched a campaign for original short films on women’s empowerment, we asked the YALI Network to #BeBoldForChange and promote the rights of women and girls through film and self-expression.

Group of women and a man standing next to solar oven holding pots (Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

The featured YALI Network members below were selected for their accomplishments – I encourage you to follow along and I hope you enjoy learning more about their stories. While only a few can be featured on (we wish we could showcase all of your great work!), we salute the achievements and the commitment to leadership and service of Senegal’s YALI Network.

This week’s featured member, Mouhamed Sy, is an active volunteer and organizer in his rural community of Kolda.

Using YALI Network resources to develop his entrepreneurship and civic engagement skills, Mouhamed works to empower local women and girls through relevant professional training. “I help women learn to use technology for their work in producing soap, bleach, drinks, food, and solar ovens,” he says.

Mouhamed’s work at a Research and Vocational Center also involves training students in information technology and computer maintenance. “I am working in a rural area with very limited infrastructures and opportunities, and I am fully involved in training women and girls to be better qualified in their life,” he says. Mouhamed believes vocational business skills are important, but the real value in learning a trade rests in a person’s ability to become economically autonomous.

As a devoted Network member, Mouhamed is very active in promoting YALI issues through Facebook and Twitter, in addition to regularly volunteering in his community.

Join Mouhamed and YALI Network members like him by signing up here. You’ll receive email updates, opportunities to collaborate with other young leaders, and access to helpful products and programs such as YALI Network Online Courses and #YALILearns events!

Our next featured member, Boussef Sy, lives in Dakar and believes topics related to business and entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and climate change matter most in his community.


Working in the renewable energies industry, Boussef is always looking to the future and brainstorming ways to enact change as a leader. He has completed several online courses, including Understanding Climate Change, and he uses other YALI Network resources to gain applicable skills for his professional career and interests. “YALI helps me achieve my vision of encouraging civic engagement and developing entrepreneurship projects in my community,” he says.

Boussef has big plans for his community, saying, “I would like to organize a #YALILearns event to find solutions to our most pressing problems.” The YALI Network helps connect Boussef to a strong group of future African leaders, and he looks forward to collaborating with his Senegalese peers!

Man standing speaking into a microphone (Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)