VOA’s Africa Division interviewed more than 130 fellows at last week’s Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) summit and during their university studies in the U.S. over the previous month. VOA Central News also interviewed some of the young African leaders at the summit and delved into the factors that motivate them to succeed.
The interviews brought to life the tremendous diversity of career challenges the YALI fellows have chosen.
President Obama launched YALI in 2010 in an effort to support an emerging generation of young African leaders and entrepreneurs as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across Africa.
The president’s remarks to a YALI town hall at the summit were streamed live on all VOA Africa Division Facebook pages, receiving more than 20,000 video views, more than 1,200 likes and more than 450 comments. (VOA Central issued its own comprehensive story on the town hall.) Excerpts from the president’s speech opened the VOA Swahili TV program Washington Bureau. Swahili YALI fellows interviewed include Tanzanian Geline Alfred Fuko, whose work was mentioned by President Obama, and Kenyan Nailantei Leng’ete, who is breaking taboos on female genital cutting and sexually transmitted diseases.
VOA Africa generated a lot of YALI coverage through social media. For instance, the network did a Facebook Live town hall session with Swahili-speaking YALIs at Howard University in Washington. VOA Africa also sent a reporter to Bridgewater University in Massachusetts to cover YALIs from Lusophone countries in Africa. The reporter produced Facebook Live reports and short videos in Portuguese, including this one.
In French and Bambara, YALI fellows appeared on the radio programs Anba Fo and L’Amerique et Vous, and on the TV magazine show Vous et Nous.
In addition, VOA Africa sent reporters to cover YALI Fellowship graduation ceremonies at Virginia Tech and the College of William and Mary. The division produced Facebook Live videos in Hausa, Amharic and Somali.
The Africa Division also did four YALI interviews at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce/Presidential Precinct event: two Amharic (Zelalem Kibret and Admasu Lokaley), one Zimbabwean (Abel Chemura) and one Francophone (Moussa Abdillahi). The interviews were streamed live on Facebook.
VOA broadcasts in a total of 15 languages, including English, to countries across the African continent in multiple media platforms.