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Engaging Youth For Positive Change in Africa
August 4, 2010

August 3, 2010


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Washington, D.C. – Today, Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), joined President Obama at the White House for the President’s Town Hall with young African leaders to discuss their vision for Africa for the next 50 years.

The 115 young men and women are in Washington for the President’s Forum with Young African Leaders. These young leaders, representing civil society and the private sector, are already playing a key role in shaping their countries’ future security and prosperity

USAID conducts programs that directly target Africa’s youth to ensure that they have access to opportunities that help them be active and effective citizens. Some key examples:

Leadership: In Kenya, the $45-million Kenya Youth Initiative Yes, Youth Can! will involve young people in local and national issues that affect them, develop entrepreneurial skills and employment opportunities, and empower youth to be positive forces for change in their communities. In Senegal and Liberia, USAID’s Leadership Africa training programs have reached more than 250,000 students.

Learning: Across Africa, the Ambassador’s Girls Scholarship Program has provided nearly 500,000 scholarships and mentoring opportunities to girls and at-risk boys in 39 African countries. In Liberia and Burundi, USAID provides literacy and vocational training to out-of-school youth, along with training in parenting skills, entrepreneurial skills, and civic education. The Southern Sudan Interactive Radio Instruction project improves basic education for children and out-of-school youth and adults.

Livelihoods: In South Africa, the Community Peace Workers program provides opportunities for youth life-skills training and career counseling; over 75 percent of participants in the program have obtained jobs or are starting their own businesses. The Rwanda Youth Project has linked 12,500 youth to jobs through training and information technologies.

USAID is committed to supporting the youth of Africa as they become the next generation of leaders both in their communities and throughout the world. For more information about USAID and its programs around the world, please visit: www.usaid.gov/.

President Obama’s Town Hall at Young African Leaders Forum

USAID and African Union Sign Assistance Agreement