U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec hosted a send-off on June 12, honoring the 46 Kenyans chosen to be a part of the Washington Fellowship for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
YALI was launched by U.S. President Barack Obama to support young African leaders as they work to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across the continent. The program will bring over 500 young leaders from all over Africa to the United States each year, beginning in 2014, for leadership training, academic coursework and mentoring.
The Washington Fellows will spend six weeks at top U.S. universities and colleges that will provide tailored programs with top faculty, cutting-edge curricula and local opportunities to impart practical professional and leadership skills. The group leaving from Kenya will depart for Washington, D.C. on June 13.
Ambassador Godec praised the dynamic group on their leadership and commitment. He referred to the impact this initiative will have on Kenyans as well as Americans, just as the historic Kennedy Airlift had 50 years ago. One Fellow, Jacob Otieno Ouma, gave remarks to the attendees, promoting and encouraging the efforts of each of the Fellows.
YALI is a long-term effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders and strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa. This wide-ranging effort has been led by the White House and the U.S. Department of State in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development.