Abuja, Nigeria – The U.S. Mission in Nigeria is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the Nigerian Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network’s 6th annual National Conference, themed “Beyond Limits: Innovation for Sustainable Development.” The two-day event brought together over 400 young Nigerian leaders from 36 Nigerian States between the ages of 18-35, to foster collaboration and drive sustainable development across the nation through keynote speakers, panel discussions, and interactive activities all focused on the participants’ role in sustainable development. The conference left five YALI Network members with on-the-spot job offers and HP gave away eight laptops to the winners of a business pitch competition.
The YALI Network National Conference served as a testament to the strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria in supporting youth empowerment and sustainable development. The U.S. government, through initiatives like YALI, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to nurturing the potential of young African leaders who are driving positive change in their communities. The United States provides online courses and materials to the YALI Network of over 200,000 members in Nigeria and throughout Africa; while connecting members with global leaders in their fields to help members develop leadership skills through speaker programs and by supporting conferences, such as the one that took place August 25-26 in Abuja.
U.S. Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Officer, Julia McKay, delivered a keynote address which 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 the Tech Women and Tech Girls’ exchange programs. 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.”
The YALI Network Summit’s “Beyond Limits: Innovation for Sustainable Development” theme aptly captured the spirit of collaboration between the United States and Nigeria in building the capacity of Nigerian young leaders to advocate for a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future for Nigeria. The U.S. Embassy remains committed to supporting initiatives that empower the youth and drive sustainable development in Nigeria.
The 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.
For more information, please visit https://yali.state.gov/ or www.mandelawashingtonfellowship.org/apply