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VOA Covers Young Africa Leaders Initiative Summit

After three days of comprehensive multimedia coverage of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Summit in Washington, Voice of America today broadcasts “VOA Presents: YALI Special.” The special introduces viewers to seven YALI fellows VOA began following in Africa after their selection. For the last six weeks, up until the Washington summit, they have been studying at six U.S. universities, taking courses in public management, civic leadership and business and entrepreneurship.

Reporters from VOA's French to Africa Service interview a YALI 2014 Fellow from Mali
Reporters from VOA's French to Africa Service interview a YALI 2014 Fellow from Mali

Vincent Makori, anchor of the English-language TV news program Africa 54, hosts the 30-minute program from the campus of Washington’s historic Howard University. The program will be carried on satellite by VOA affiliates and is also available online.

Already impressive and innovative leaders in business and government, the seven young Africans told VOA they’re hopeful that their YALI experience will give them the leadership tools they need to lead their nations to prosperity and stability. President Obama started the initiative in 2010 to invest in the next generation of African leaders.

Along with the TV special, VOA has provided in-depth coverage of the YALI Summit in 16 languages to Africa. On Monday, as President Obama welcomed this year’s 500 YALI fellows, VOA streamed live President Obama’s speech online in English and carried a simultaneous French translation for audiences in 22 Francophone countries in Africa.

Washington Forum, VOA’s French-language TV news program, will also dedicate this week’s episode to the YALI summit. The program includes special interviews with fellows from Francophone Africa.

Even before the summit began, the YALI summit was getting attention in African media. VOA and its English-language affiliate in Nigeria, Channels TV, co-produced a 30-minute interactive special program. A Channels TV co-host in Lagos interviewed Nigerian YALI fellows in VOA’s Washington studios. The program aired on Channels TV over the weekend and was also carried on satellite.

The summit marks the end of the six-week U.S. fellowship, but many YALI fellows will remain in the U.S. as interns. VOA will host three YALI fellows for eight-week media internships. Chipiliro Kansilanga, a journalist from Malawi, Lola Akomatrsi, a journalist from Togo, and Ugandan photographer Cyrus Kawalya will work in Voice of America’s Africa Division alongside reporters, producers, and editors.

For more information about this release, contact the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write to For more information about VOA, visit the Public Relations website at, or the main news site at