US Embassy Accra Promoting African Unity, Leadership

Lamora (right) making a point

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Christopher J. Lamora hosted a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) celebratory and networking event that gathered members from all three branches of the YALI family: Mandela Washington Fellows, YALI Regional Leadership Center participants, and active members of the online YALI Network.

The event was an opportunity to recognize the contributions of these young leaders, and to urge them to look beyond their communities and to seek ways to work together to promote security, good governance, prosperity, and opportunity nationwide and across the continent.

In his remarks, Mr. Lamora urged solidarity among the members of the three YALI pillars, saying, “There are a half a million aspiring young African leaders in the YALI Network and 40,000 of them are here in Ghana!  Think of the positive changes 40,000 young people could make by connecting and collaborating with one another, no matter which YALI programme they participated in.”

Also present at the event were representatives from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information and Programs (IIP) which administers the online YALI Network and works closely with Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) colleagues in embassies across Africa to leverage the influence of over half a million digital activists through the YALI Network.

While in Accra, the IIP team trained employees from 16 U.S. Embassies throughout Africa, as well as the USAID-administered Regional Leadership Center (located at GIMPA) on strategies to engage youth and train them on how to administer online courses on good governance, civic education, disability rights, empowering and building opportunities for women and girls, and protecting the environment.