Call for Application

YALI East Africa Regional Leadership Cohorts 55 (Residential) and 56 (Fully Online): Empowering Young Leaders in East & Central Africa (Fully Funded)

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The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was initiated by former President of the United States Barack Obama as a prominent effort to invest in the forthcoming generation of African leaders. The need to develop strong, outcome-oriented leaders is underscored by the statistics: almost one-third of Africans are aged between 10 and 24, and roughly 60% of Africa’s overall population is below 35 years old.

Situated at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa serves 14 countries in East and Central Africa: Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Uganda. Deloitte East Africa oversees the center, which is backed by an increasing number of African and international collaborators.

Selected participants will partake in leadership instruction across three study tracks: (1) Business and Entrepreneurship, (2) Civic Leadership, and (3) Training in Public Management is conducted in a four-week residential format, emphasizing the development of individual and team leadership abilities, innovation, creative learning, and communication. The program prioritizes interactive and experiential learning, fostering each participant’s capacity to contribute both independently and collaboratively.

Residential and online learning at the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa

The YALI RLC EA has introduced online learning as well. The COVID-19 Pandemic has globally disrupted life, impacting our program calendar. Given the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation and the feasibility of continuing our residential cohorts, the center has initiated an online cohort. This approach allows us to enroll a larger number of participants (over 100 per cohort), providing more of our target demographic with the YALI RLC EA experience. The online platform is user-friendly and accessible via mobile phones. The inaugural online cohort, comprising 250 participants, commenced on May 18, 2020.


Participation in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa is based on merit and is open to young East African leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Ages 18 to 35 at the time of application submission.
  • Citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.
  • Individuals who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of the United State.
  • Able to obtain any required visa for Kenya.
  • Adequate proficiency in English reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Selection Criteria

Selection for participation in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa will be conducted through a merit-based, open competition. All eligible applications will undergo review by a selection panel. Semi-finalists will then be interviewed before final selection and the issuance of program invitations.

Evaluation of applications by selection panels will be based on the following criteria:

  • Shown leadership in public service, business, entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
  • Engaged in public or community service, volunteer work, or mentorship.
  • Capacity to collaborate effectively in diverse groups and value diverse viewpoints.
  • Proficient in social and communication skills.
  • Positive and energetic attitude.
  • Demonstrated expertise, interest, and professional experience in the selected sector/track.
  • Commitment to apply acquired leadership skills and training for the benefit of one’s country and/or community post-program.

For additional information,

Application Deadline: March 1st, 2024, at 5:00 pm EAT

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