YALI & Africa


28781633945_15507b7abf_kThe Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Nearly 1 in 3 Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60 percent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35. Former President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Sub-Saharan Africa.


The Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI, is not just a fellowship, or an online community, or a place to go for regional leadership training. YALI is all three!

Elements of YALI

Mandela Washington Fellowship

Launched in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship is YALI’s flagship program. It brings up to 1,000 African civic, business and community leaders aged 25–35 for six weeks of academic coursework, leadership training and networking at U.S. universities.

YALI Network

Through the YALI Network, young Africans can connect with other leaders in their community, access free online courses in topics ranging from climate change to entrepreneurship to human rights, and receive invitations to special events.
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YALI Regional Leadership Centers

The four YALI Regional Leadership Centers — in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Ghana  — train young leaders in leadership, entrepreneurship and professional development. They also provide a great place to network.

Whatever part of YALI attracts your interest, you can be sure that by joining you’ll become part of something bigger! Want to join now? Use the “Join our Network” box to sign up with your email address!


The YALI Network provides you email updates and opportunities to collaborate with young leaders across Africa.