Presidential Summit of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

The Presidential Summit commences today, July 28, and runs until July 30.

It brings together 500 of sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising young leaders, including 46 from South Africa, to meet with U.S. entrepreneurs, government officials, and civil society representatives.

The event will feature plenary sessions with Members of Congress, leaders in international development, and representatives of non-governmental organizations.

The Presidential Summit follows six weeks of academic study at 20 institutions across the United States as part of the Washington Fellowship.

Secretary of State John Kerry will provide welcoming remarks at 15:00 (SAST). The Secretary will highlight the U.S. commitment to Africa and the recognition of the critical and increasing role that young Africans are playing in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.

President Obama will deliver remarks at 17:10 (SAST) and will conduct a Town Hall.

Remarks will be streamed live on , and commencing at 15:00 SAST

Social media coverage is available by following @StateDept, @StateDeptLive, and @JohnKerry for tweets from the event, using the hashtag #YALI2014 and #USAfrica

More Information

Young African Leaders Initiative web site:
Profiles of the young leaders:

Program Highlights

The full program booklet available for download (PDF, 540 Kb):

Monday, July 28, 2014

15:00 – 15:10 (SAST): Opening remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry This session will be streamed live at

15:15 – 16:30 (SAST): Congressional Forum on Investing in the Next Generation of Africa, moderated by Cokie Roberts with remarks by U.S. Senator Christopher Coons (DE), U.S. Senator John Boozman (AR) and U.S. Representative Karen Bass (CA)
This session will be streamed live at

17:10 a.m. – 18:30 (SAST): Young African Leaders Town Hall with President Obama.
The town hall will be streamed live at

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

15:00 – 16:15 (SAST): Plenary session on Entrepreneurial Approaches to Activism, moderated by Sonal Shah, Georgetown University, with remarks by Sipho Moyo, the ONE Campaign, Bill Carter, Ashoka, and Washington Fellow Alain Kaposo Chirwisa.
This session will be streamed live at

22:00 – 22:30 (SAST): Private Sector and Civil Society Partnership Expo with remarks by Heather A. Higginbottom, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State, and Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development.
This session will be streamed live at

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

15:00 – 16:30 (SAST): Plenary session on Enabling Inclusive Economic Development, with remarks by Steve Case, Revolution, LLC, Alexa von Tobel,, and Washington Fellow Tchegoun Adebo Koba.
This session will be streamed live at

17:00 – 17:45 (SAST): Remarks by First Lady Michelle Obama
This session will be streamed live at

Closing Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power with an introduction by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield.


YALI Washington Fellows Presidential Summit

President Obama will welcome leaders from across the African continent to the Nation’s capital for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit August 4-6, 2014 as a demonstration of our deep partnership with and commitment to the region. One week prior to the Leaders’ Summit, 500 of Africa’s most talented and inspiring young people will come together for a Presidential Summit in Washington, DC. These 500 African leaders are participating in the Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The participants have received six-weeks of academic coursework and leadership training at 20 of America’s top universities in one of three tracks: civic leadership, public management, and business and entrepreneurship, and some will remain in the U.S. to complete internships.

The Young African Leaders Initiative was launched as a key part of the Administration’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa by empowering young African leaders with skills, resources and networks to make a difference in their communities. By investing in the future of Africa’s greatest resource, its people, we invest in the promise of continued prosperity and stability across the continent.

The United States looks forward to continuing the conversation with Washington Fellows over the long term and will support them through activities in regional training centers, professional development including internships, seed funding, networking and community service. Additionally, for the many young leaders who were not part of this year’s Washington Fellowship, we developed the YALI Network. The YALI Network provides a platform for young Africans to enhance their skills and to connect with Americans and other Africans who share their interests in entrepreneurship, leadership and community service. The YALI Network currently has 65,000 members and will be offering education, training, networking and funding opportunities. Membership is open to all young Africans.