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More Nigerian youth benefit from Obama's scheme

30 March 2016, 20:50

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 from Nigeria.

Beneficiaries from Nigeria have been increased from 40 last year.

“President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative is also having a major impact in Nigeria and throughout the continent,” said Thomas-Greenfield.

“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.”

Also read: Intellectually shallow youth is the bane of Nigeria's development

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 exchange programmes.



- CAJ News

Tags lagos youth

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