Lagos – The United States has increased the number
of Nigerian beneficiaries to the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) of
President Barack Obama, a senior official has disclosed.
Speaking in Washington, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant
Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs at the United States Institute of Peace,
said they had doubled the number of YALI Fellows this year to 1 000, with 100
Beneficiaries from Nigeria have been increased from 40 last
“President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative is also
having a major impact in Nigeria and throughout the continent,” said
“As we combed through the thousands of applications, we
marveled at the high quality of Nigerian applicants – so many talented and
enthusiastic young people poised to make a difference.”
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The official singled out for praise a YALI Fellow, Temitayo
Etomi from Nigeria, who attended a business and entrepreneurship institute at
Clark Atlanta University in 2014.
Temitayo founded a nonprofit network of entrepreneurs and
young professionals who are committed to reducing unemployment in Nigeria by at
least 25 percent by building the skills of unemployed Nigerians.
Upon returning home from the Fellowship, her nonprofit
organization has employed and trained more than 100 Nigerians with the aim of
creating 1,2 million jobs for Nigerian youth by 2020.
“That’s the kind of dedication we need in order to
accomplish our goals, and it’s the kind of entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity
that Nigeria needs,” said Thomas-Greenfield.
“We will continue to work with Nigeria to find new ways in
which to tap into that potential to drive the kind of growth that we know
Nigeria is capable of.”
Started in 2010, YALI is a programme aimed at educating and
networking young African leaders with activities including a fellowship to
study in the United States for six weeks, follow-up resources, and student
- CAJ News