â€œI do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world—partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect.â€
The aforementioned is a quote from President Barack Obama on his vision for the continent and a mutually beneficial partnership with the United States.
Obama’s and the United States’ renewed interest in Africa took the spotlight at a town hall in Washington, D.C. June 28, at the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
The president welcomed 500 participants in the Washington Fellowship program who were selected from nearly 50,000 applicants from across Africa, as part of his Young African Leaders Initiative. The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.
The town hall, held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in the nation’s capital aims to connect young African leaders with leadership training opportunities at some of America’s top universities to expand their leadership skills and knowledge.Â Obama announced the creation of the fellowship during his 2013 trip to South Africa.
All 500 participants have been busy at some of Americaâ€™s top colleges and universities learning how to build a grassroots organization, how to run a business, and how to manage an institution.