The Young African Leaders Initiative

The YALI Network provides virtual resources and vibrant physical spaces to equip young African leaders with the skills and conne
The YALI Network provides virtual resources and vibrant physical spaces to equip young African leaders with the skills and connections they need to foster change in their communities and their countries.

The 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. Launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

Through YALI, the United States is investing in an emerging generation of African leaders by committing significant resources to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders with one another, the United States, and innovative leaders in the private, civic, and public sectors. YALI programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, YALI Regional Leadership Centers, and the YALI Network provide interconnected avenues of opportunity for young Africans to grow their leadership skills.

USAID is proud to be part of this presidential initiative and works closely with the Department of State and the U.S. African Development Bank (USADF) on program implementation.

In addition to U.S. government resources, YALI has brought together the resources of hundreds of partners from private sector companies, civic organizations and NGOs, and national and regional public sector entities to support young Africans.  Our partners are enthusiastic supporters of YALI and see the great potential in advancing youth leadership opportunities in Africa that promote growth and strengthen Africa-based business and entrepreneurship, civil society, and public administration. Partnering with USAID on YALI is easy to do and includes many exciting opportunities. Our partners have made a diverse range of commitments to provide resources and opportunities to establish and built exciting YALI activities, such as internships and mentoring for Mandela Washington Fellows or leadership and technical training through the YALI Regional Leadership Centers in Africa.

To learn more about YALI, including how to apply for YALI programs or become a partner, visit or email us at