On Saturday, President Obama participated in a town hall with the Young African Leaders Initiative at the University of Johannesburg-Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Young African Leaders Initiative launched in 2010 by President Obama supports leadership development, promotes entrepreneurship, and connects the next generation of African leaders with one another and the United States. Town hall participants included over 600 young leaders, ages 18-35, who are involved in public, private and civic organizations.
At the start of the town hall, President Obama announced a significant expansion of this initiative - a new program called the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. This new program provides thousands of promising young Africans the opportunity to come to the United States in order to develop skills at public and private American colleges and universities. President Obama described the programs focused:
We’ll focus on civic leadership and public administration and business and entrepreneurship, the skills you need to serve your communities and start and grow businesses and run effective ministries. And you’ll interact with Americans from all walks of life, because our citizens -- especially our young people -- can learn from you, too. You’ll meet with leaders in business and nonprofits and government, including me. And I look forward to welcoming you at a summit that I’ll host in Washington, because I want to hear directly from you -- your hopes, your dreams, what we can achieve together.
Other town hall participants included young people from Kenya, Nigeria and Uganda who connected by satellite.
The town hall focused on youth empowerment and leadership with questions ranging from trade, American foreign policy, education and climate and environment. Read the President's remarks here or watch the Town Hall
For more information:
- Fact Sheet: The President's Young African Leaders Initiative
- President Obama Announces the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders
- Learn more about the President and First Lady’s trip to Africa
The President spent Sunday in Cape Town, South Africa where he toured Robben Island with his family, visited the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre and delivered remarks at the University of Cape Town about U.S.- Africa relations. Read his remarks at the University of Cape Town.