Through the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, ASU is part of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center program, a network of four centers serving as regional hubs across the continent of Africa to encourage transformational learning and enhance leadership skills. For the past year, the faculty have traveled to the East Africa Regional Leadership Center in Nairobi, Kenya every month to deliver public management and civic leadership courses in person, as well as support online courses. The center serves 14 countries in east and central Africa.

The YALI Regional Leadership Centers in Africa were launched by President Barack Obama in July 2014, as a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. These centers build on existing institutional capacity in Africa, providing high-quality training, mentoring, and networking support to a greater number of young leaders reached through the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, located at Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya serves young leaders between the ages 18 and 35 from 14 countries in East and Central Africa: Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Selected participants engage in innovative leadership training across three tracks of study:

  1. Business and Entrepreneurship,
  2. Civic Leadership, and
  3. Public Management.

During the program, young leaders engage in a 12-week course format (three weeks of residential learning on-site at the Center in Nairobi, eight weeks of virtual distance learning via technology from their home country, and a final week on-site at the Center in Nairobi).

The Center is overseen by Deloitte East Africa and is supported by a number of African and international partners including Arizona State University’s Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, which will lead its 16th cohort of young leaders in spring 2017.