The program will send over 500 young leaders from across Africa to the United States for leadership training, academic coursework, and mentoring. As Washington Fellows, Regina and Araba will get an amazing opportunity to interact with President Obama at a Presidential Summit in Washington, meet with U.S government, civic and business leaders, and join a global alumni network of fellows.
The 2014 Washington Fellows were selected based on a proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service, business and entrepreneurship, or civic engagement; demonstrated commitment to community service and a commitment to apply their leadership skills to benefit their home country and Africa, among other criteria.
“I believe Africa’s youthful population are its change makers and the new generation of leaders,” said Regina, who was recently featured on CNN as one of Ghana’s rising entrepreneurs, and was selected for the Business and Entrepreneurship track. “I intend to come back home with fresh ideas, great leadership, and entrepreneurship training, and great relationships to continue the good work I have started in Ghana. I would also love to meet Obama!”
“I think the Washington Fellowship is a fantastic opportunity for young Africans who truly care about their countries and the continent to come together and share ideas,” Araba added. “I hope to be better equipped to steer myself and the rest of the Village of Hope team away from the temptation to become content with our current successes, and towards a resolve to improve upon our work constantly. I also expect the Washington Fellowship to arm me with the skills and experience required to become a better professional in the area of non-profit management and social entrepreneurship.”
The Obama Administration’s YALI is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Nearly one in three Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60 percent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35. President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.