IN 2010 President Obama of the United States announce the new flag ship programme of the ‘Young African Leaders Initiative’ (YALI) the purpose of this programme was to support young African leaders to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across the continent of Africa.

YALI - Logo

YALI – Logo

To be nominated for the programme you must start by filling an application form and then go through a rigorous competitive selection process. This year saw over 700 Malawian applicants with only 8 selected for a position at YAILI.

During my time in Malawi I took time out to meet with Charles Kajoloweka, founder and CEO of Youth and Society (YAS)  based in Mzuzu, the northern region of Malawi. Youth and society was established in 2011, with the aims to:

  1. Promote and defend human rights and good governance
  2. Promote youth and child education
  3. Promote and advocate for sexual reproductive and health rights of adolescent girls, women and youth
  4. Promote youth leadership and participation in development
  5. Advocate and monitor implementation for better youth-targeting policies and programmes.
Charles Kajolweka - at the Youth and Society office in Mzuzu

Charles Kajolweka – at the Youth and Society office in Mzuzu

This year Charles has been selected as a Young African Leader, which means he will travel to the USA for training and experience. I asked Charles what it means for him to be a Young African Leader. He hope the experience will sharpen his capacity in Civic Leadership and give him global connections to help Youth and Society to develop further.

The experience gained by the Young African Leaders is vast, and helps them to create a network to put forward new ideas and help improve not only their own country but the entire continent. Below is some of the outcomes of the 2014 YALI trip to the USA

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