The Nigerian Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network’s 6th annual National Conference, themed “Beyond Limits: Innovation for Sustainable Development,” was successfully concluded by the U.S. Mission in Nigeria.
The event had in attendance over 400 young Nigerian leaders between 18 and 35 years old, representing all 36 Nigerian states, who came together for a two-day event.
This gathering aimed to encourage collaboration and advance sustainable development throughout the nation featuring keynote speakers, panel discussions, and interactive sessions, all geared towards helping participants understand their role in promoting sustainable development.
Nairametrics learns that during the event, five members of the YALI Network received on-the-spot job offers, and HP generously awarded eight laptops to the winners of a business pitch competition.
The YALI Network National Conference further solidified the robust partnership between the United States and Nigeria in their joint efforts to support youth empowerment and sustainable development.
According to the U.S. mission, through initiatives like YALI, the U.S. government demonstrates its dedication to nurturing the potential of young African leaders who are actively bringing about positive transformations in their communities.
How the U.S. Government supports young people
U.S. Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Officer, Julia McKay, delivered a keynote address that highlighted how the U.S. government supports young people in advancing the shared goal of achieving sustainable economies and inclusive communities in Nigeria.
She stated that
- “Studies have shown that nations with gender parity and inclusion experience more economic growth and development, less conflict, and higher literacy rates.”
- “Our commitment to inclusivity is reflected in our initiatives and programs, like YALI Stands for All…as well as the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), and Tech Women and Tech Girls’ exchange program.”
- “And these are just some examples of how we work with our Nigerian partners to advance our common goals and interests because we believe that by strengthening our people-to-people ties, we can build a more prosperous, secure, and democratic future for both of our countries”.
- “And we recognize the important role that young people like you play in the future of Nigeria. We will continue to provide opportunities like the YALI Network to equip young Nigerians with the skills and connections that they need to foster change in their communities.”
She also mentioned that the Mission provides online courses and resources to the YALI Network, which comprises over 200,000 members across Nigeria and Africa. The initiative also connects members with prominent global leaders in their respective fields, facilitating the development of leadership skills through speaker programs and the sponsorship of conferences.
She also spoke on the upcoming Mandela Washington Fellowship.
- “U.S. Embassy would also like to highlight that the application period for the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship opened on August 15 and will close on Tuesday, September 12, 2023”.
- “The fellowship is open to all Nigerians between the ages of 25 and 35 who are passionate about positive change and development in their communities”.
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