Young African Leaders Reuniting to Re-energize and Strategize in Dakar

It was quite historic, a reunion of over 40 Young Africans, meeting in Dakar, Senegal to brainstorm how to collaborate across the continent, to discuss the notion of what it means to be a Young African Leader and to share stories of successes and challenges in the work of moving Africa forward in the areas of democracy, youth and women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship and education. Continue  

Exchange Behind the Scenes in Dakar

As the 44 alumni of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) trickle in to a hot and unpredictably rainy Dakar, Senegal, many for the first time, it is still a day until the seminar and the exchange has already begun. From late night political discussions over a bottle of wine, to breakfast rendez-vous over French pastries and jus de bissap, and a cultural excursion to Goree Island, a place full of history and painful remembrance, these dynamic young leaders don’t waste a second sharing their stories, ideas and plans – big plans – for the future with one another. Continue  

What Do We Do with the Hard-Earned Education?

Just two days ago, I met a young man (Bekele) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia who was driving a cab that I took to a hotel as my flight was cancelled.  As we talked, he told me he graduated at the top of his class seven years ago, with a degree in Information Technology, but he is still struggling to make ends meet, even when he felt lucky he at least had a job as a cab driver. Continue  

In their Own Words: A Portrait of Dakar

Trying to plan a conference in another city—especially one thousands of miles from Washington, DC—is a challenge, and that’s without the added chore of trying to navigate airport pick-ups and unfamiliar crowded streets. That’s where our Dakar team — Blue Team Event s— comes to the rescue. Continue