Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Africa’s future in hands of ‘inspiring’ YALI fellows: U.S. Consulate

The U.S. says the YALI fellows are doing outstanding and inspiring work that affects the continent.

• August 17, 2021
U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli
U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli

The United States of America has commended the alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative, describing the young people as “inspiring”.

This was contained in a speech by U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer Stephen Ibelli at the Alumni reception in Lagos on Tuesday. 

“We’re proud and grateful to be a part of your journeys.

You’re doing outstanding and inspiring work on critical issues – issues that are having an impact in the lives of so many of your fellow Nigerians, from promoting entrepreneurship and education, to supporting democratic reform and a strong civil society,” Mr Ibelli said. 

In his address, Mr Ibelli appreciated that after a decade of the network being in existence, the program had produced 24,000 alumni members between the Mandela Washington program, the Regional Leadership Centers and the YALI network.

Mr Ibelli stated that Africa’s future is in the hands of the alumni and that the U.S. is excited and willing to discuss the issues and concerns they may have about Nigeria.   

“Whether in fighting COVID-19, meeting the climate crisis, building a sustainable and inclusive global economy, or dealing with any of the other challenges we face today, we are all in this together,” Mr Ibelli said.

In April, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken addressed YALI alumni during his virtual visit to Africa.

He recognised the programme’s growth and impact the Alumni have been able to carry out in their home countries to expand opportunities, grow economies, and promote human rights.

Since its establishment in 2014, about 4,400 young leaders from every country in sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship and successful fellows participate in a virtual summit.

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