On October 13, 2015, the U.S. Embassy Yaounde Cultural Affairs Officer Merlyn Schultz and Calvin Soh, 2015 Young African Leaders Initiative/Mandela Washington Fellows (YALI/MWF) alumnus, conducted an interview with Muslim TV to announce that the applications for the YALI program are now open. Mr. Soh said: “We encourage Cameroonians from all faiths, backgrounds and regions to apply for the Mandela Washignton Fellowship. YALI is not just about going to the United States and advancing ones’ own leadership skills. As President Obama has said ‘I want to make sure that even as we’re working with governments, we’re also helping to empower young Africans like all of you… to help you access the resources and the training and the networks that you need to become the next generation of leaders in all areas — in civil society, in business, in government.” He also shared his experiences as a fellow at the University of Nevada in Reno, which he described as “the most enriching experience I’ve had. Not only did I network with experts in civil society, business and public management in the United States, but, most importantly, I exchanged ideas and have a solid network with my African peers throughout the continent. We continue to work together today in leading our countries forward.”
Cultural Affairs Officer Merlyn Schultz announced that the YALI program is now accepting 1,000 leaders for this year’s program, doubling the number from last year. “Our Cameroonian YALI are working on the most pressing issues in partnership with hundreds of Cameroonians throughout several regions; including promoting security, education, and health, combatting gender based violence and lifting the voices of youth to contribute to Cameroon in a positive way. In addition to Boko Haram, unemployment must be reduced through private sector growth led by Cameroonians to create needed jobs. We are looking for young leaders who are committed to the development of Cameroon, spurring economic growth, and empowering their peers toward promoting development through their own immense talents and ideas, including especially women and girls. If this is you, we hope you’ll apply.” See Facebook album of interview: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10156132662160716.1073742098.312546460715&type=3&uploaded=7.
For more information on how to apply for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, please see https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov.