Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Alumni Reunion conference – Johannesburg, South Africa

Meridian, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State, hosted two Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) alumni reunion conferences in September, 2013. The two-day conferences hosted over 40 young Africans, who came together to discuss the successes and challenges of working to advance Africa, as well as the state of democracy, youth empowerment, and women’s rights on the continent. The reunions were held in Dakar, Senegal and Johannesburg, South Africa and were conducted with the goal of connecting all three years of alumni so that they could benefit from the experiences of their peers and form a more cohesively branded network under YALI.

Conceived by President Obama as a part of his Policy Directive on Africa, YALI was a program created to strengthen U.S.-Africa relations, as well as youth engagement in the two countries. The conference centered on the theme of youth leadership in the two countries, with mentoring, action-planning and executive leadership training to supplement this theme.

The conference was launched by Deputy Assistant Secretary David Gilmour from the Department of State who spoke about the President’s trip to the African continent. Other speakers during the conference included Dr. Vera Songwe from the World Bank; Eric Kacou, the cofounder of Entrepreneurial Solutions Partners; Dr. Ousmane Sene, Director of the West African Research Center; and Joel Mangan, a program manager at IBM’s Corporate Citizenship office. Panels and discussions during the conference focused not only the issues currently facing Africa and its youth, but also what participants could do to effect change.

Project summary

Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Alumni Reunion conference – Johannesburg, South Africa | September 2013
Number of Visitors: 40
Regions: Africa
Countries: Angola, Botswana, Congo - Kinshasa, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Education, Entrepreneurship, Governance and Transparency, Youth Leadership Development
Program Areas: Global Leadership, Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Public Sector