June 18, 2024



Speaking to 74 Malagasy participants in the U.S. government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), U.S. Ambassador Claire Pierangelo called upon the young leaders to serve as mentors and role models to aspiring youth in their communities and to work together to solve the pressing challenges facing Madagascar and the world at a ceremony in Antananarivo on Friday.

Ambassador Pierangelo made the U.S. government’s commitment to the next generation of Malagasy leaders clear: “The United States believes in you and we stand with you.”

Climate and women’s rights activist Marie Christina Kolo also received special recognition as the 2022 YALI Leadership Impact Award recipient. Kolo, an alumna of the 2017 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, was selected out of nearly 5,100 eligible YALI alumni worldwide for her achievements as a changemaker and servant leader in Madagascar’s environment and gender sectors.

This group of emerging leaders included 60 participants in YALI Regional Leadership Center workshops, 11 recently returned YALI Mandela WashingtonFellows, and three YALI Alumni Enrichment Institute graduates.

During the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, young African leaders in government, civil society, and business travel to the United States for six weeks of leadership training and academic coursework at U.S. universities. The YALI Alumni Enrichment Institutes offer opportunities for Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni to return to the United States to collaborate with their U.S. counterparts and build upon the skills they developed during their fellowships. The YALI Regional Leadership Center program provides in-person and online training in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management from centers in Senegal and South Africa.

The Young African Leaders Initiative is the U.S. government’s signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.