In a resounding demonstration of its positive impact, the Nigerian Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network’s 6th annual national conference, themed “Beyond Limits: Innovation for Sustainable Development,” concluded with viable job offers and opportunities for innovation.
The two-day event, hosted by the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, gathered more than 400 young Nigerian leaders aged 18 to 35 from across 36 states. The primary goal was to foster collaboration and drive sustainable development in the nation.
Through keynote speakers, panel discussions and interactive activities, participants delved into their roles in advancing sustainable development. An exceptional outcome emerged as five YALI Network members received immediate job offers, while HP awarded eight laptops to the victors of a business pitch competition.
This annual National Conference stands as a testament to the enduring partnership between the United States and Nigeria in their shared commitment to youth empowerment and sustainable development. The U.S. government, through initiatives like YALI, consistently affirms its dedication to nurturing the potential of young African leaders who are actively propelling positive change in their communities. By providing online courses, materials and global connections to over 200,000 YALI Network members across Nigeria and Africa, the United States invests in fostering leadership skills and knowledge-sharing.
The U.S. Embassy’s public diplomacy officer, Julia McKay delivered a keynote address during the conference, underscoring the U.S. government’s unwavering support for young individuals in driving sustainable economies and fostering inclusive communities in Nigeria.
She expressed, “Research underscores that nations embracing gender parity and inclusion witness heightened economic growth, reduced conflict, and increased literacy rates. Our commitment to inclusivity permeates initiatives like YALI Stands for All, the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), and the tech women and tech girls’ exchange programmes. These are just glimpses of our collaborative efforts with Nigerian partners, aimed at advancing mutual goals and interests. Strengthening people-to-people ties holds the potential to build a more prosperous, secure, and democratic future for both nations.
“We recognise the pivotal role young Nigerians, like yourselves, play in Nigeria’s future. We will persist in providing opportunities, such as the YALI Network, to equip young Nigerians with skills and connections, empowering them to catalyze change in their communities,” McKay said.
The theme of the YALI Network Summit, “Beyond Limits: Innovation for Sustainable Development”, encapsulated the harmonious collaboration between the United States and Nigeria. This partnership aims to equip Nigerian youth leaders with the tools to advocate for a more prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future for the nation. The U.S. Embassy remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering youth and propelling sustainable development in Nigeria.
The U.S. Embassy also took the opportunity to announce that applications for the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship opened on August 15 and will close on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. This fellowship welcomes all Nigerians aged 25 to 35, who are dedicated to driving positive change and development within their communities.