US Ambassador urges Namibians to apply for YALI fellowship

13 Aug 2015 13:20pm
EENHANA, 13 AUG (NAMPA) – The United States (US) Ambassador to Namibia, Thomas Daughton has invited young people in the Ohangwena Region’s Eenhana area to join the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network.
Daughton extended the invitation on Tuesday during his visit to Eenhana to familiarise himself with US government-sponsored programmes in the area.
US President Barack Obama started the YALI Network to help connect young African leaders and ultimately empower them to increase economic opportunity, accountability and equality across the African continent.
“I am here to encourage you today to apply for the YALI Fellowship programme, which is open to everyone irrespective of whether you live in an urban or rural area,” Daughton informed some 30 young people with whom he discussed the programme’s benefits during a town hall meeting at Eenhana.
He said the number of fellowships for Namibians will double from nine to 18 next year.
YALI empowers young leaders through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.
Ideal candidates are self-identified leaders aged 25 to 35 with proven accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organisations, institutions, communities and countries.
Last year, YALI was transformed into the Mandela Washington Fellowship, which has provided 500 youth from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to hone skills at a higher education institution in the US.
A young Namibian, Sebulon David, recently returned from a seven-week YALI training programme in the USA.
David is currently the executive director of his newly-established Tate Institute of Technology at Eenhana.
“Even after my return, I remain in touch with my professors in the US. The beauty of the YALI Network is that they are so encouraging despite all the challenges one may face in Namibia, and eventually you will succeed in your endeavours,” David told those participated in the discussions.
He described the fellowship as a lifetime opportunity.
The US Embassy granted David N.dollars 170 000, which he used to expand access to information and technology for his Tate Institute of Technology.