In a signing ceremony at the University of South Africa on Tuesday August 18, 2015 U.S. Ambassador Patrick H. Gaspard and Professor Mandla S. Makhanya, UNISA Vice Chancellor, announced a partnership to establish a Regional Leadership Center for Southern Africa.
As a part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), President Obama announced the creation of four Regional Leadership Centers in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal. Thanks to close collaboration between USAID and UNISA, the Center will provide African youth with access to high quality leadership training and professional development opportunities. In collaboration with private sector partners including Microsoft, Intel, CISCO, Proctor and Gamble, the Mara Foundation, MasterCard Foundation, McKinsey and Company, and Atlas Mara, the Center will also offer networking opportunities, internships, mentoring, and small business development services. The U.S. Government is contributing $17 million to the Regional Learning Center.
Selected participants between the ages of 18 and 35 years will receive training in one of three main areas: business and entrepreneurship development; public management and governance; or civic leadership. Taking advantage of UNISA’s long experience in distance education, training will be offered both online and in person.
Ambassador Gaspard said, “Thank you for this partnership and thank you for this opportunity. I cannot wait to see what will happen as a consequence of these brilliant young minds leveraging all that UNISA brings to the table, all that USAID brings to bear and all the tools that they will get from the US and African private sectors and our government.”