How to Apply for YALI

YALI is young African Leadership Initiative. This is a flagship program of the US government through the former US president Barack Obama and ongoing to help raise African future leaders.

  1. Beacon teacher, child rights, YALI, transformation, youths,
    Tsion from Ethiopia and Robert from Kenya both of YALI-RLC cohort 27 having a light moment at the centre. The experience at The centre is second to non,as you get meet young leaders from 14 East and Central African countries doing amazing things to change their communities and the continent at large.

YALI has three components; YALI network, Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) and the YALI Regional Leadership Centre.

The YALI Regional Leadership Centres are three in Africa: Nairobi, Accra and Capetown.

13000 young Africans have managed to go through the centers but the number of Africans aged 18-35 years who are still willing to go are ever increasing hence the stiff competition.

An applicant has to get it right from the onset to reach the Centre.The connection, the transformation and the change that one undergoes after the 4 weeks at the centre is worth applying for. None has ever been disappointed after visiting the RLC.

Mouanga (cohort 27)from DRC applied a record 9 times to be admitted to the Regional Leadership centre at Kenyatta University, Nairobi. But it must never be the case as many have applied once and gotten admitted to centre.

For an application that goes through first round ,the following points should be noted :

  1. Visit the YALI website ( ) and read the articles watch the videos ,go to YouTube as well,this will help you to get spirit and mission of YALI and also testimonials of those who’ve been there.
  2. Over 60% of those who applied after getting to talk with alumnus got admitted. It is Paramount that one gets in touch with anybody who has been to the centre before to at least brief them of what to do. In case one has a problem with this then you can drop a message here and you’ll get connected as soon as possible. Call and talk to at least two. Good enough is that alumni of YALI will more than willing to be of help.After discussing with 2 or 3 then you can now strike a middle ground on what works for you! At the end of the day remember to follow your gut feelings: it’s mostly right!
  3. The window for application is normally short , so ensure that you are within time, start the application process early to avoid last minute rush. Do it in bits.LATE submissions are also not accepted.Even if you are late by a second !.
  4. It is advisable not to fill in the answers to the questions on the YALI website; copy the questions on word Document work on them well, the upload only when you are ready to submit. If you decide to work on it on the website be sure NOT to hit the SUBMIT button before you are through!
  5. Keep reviewing your answers every now and the to ensure you include bits that you might have left out. Check spellings. Check grammar: through they are not the main things but they count. Check on the number of words for the questions with word limit.
  6. After visiting the YALI website as stated in 4 above you must be sure to pick a specific track that suits you.It could either be Entrepreneurship, Civic or Public Management. The track you choose will even inform how you answer the questions.
  7. In the application make sure you mention what you have been doing as a young leader in the community it can be employment, volunteering, attachment, in school etc and connect it to how you are using it to create change in your community. REMEMBER: You are going to the centre as a young leader! Tell of what you’ve done with different organisations to champion the course: try to be as truthful as possible. You don’t have to be the Founder of the organization but even if you are a member try to show how you worked closely with the leadership to ensure success of your endeavor. Show how you used the always ever scarce resources that were at your disposal. Also show in your application how you are a team player at all levels. In the organization level and even outside. Your organisation should have worked with others to achieve a common goal.
  8. Remember this is a young people’s program so it is Paramount for the applicant to show how he or she has been working with young people. So in your application the word YOUTH is key. Even if you are advocating for children rights, how have you done it with young people! Even if you are alleviating the living standards of the poor in the villages, what has the youth got to do with it.

The above are part of the key requirements.Be sure to drop us a question or comment in the comment section below.

Check out this site for TIPS on how to conduct the phone interview, after going through this first stage which you will.

Before then I wish the best in this first step. Thanks for all you are doing to ensure that Africa the real transformation that it needs and for realising that it starts with you!

All the best and ENJOY the process. That’s the most important thing. Enjoy! Its not a matter of life a and death!


5 thoughts on “How to Apply for YALI

Add yours

  1. This is a nice initiative that I want and must be part of it.
    With the few guidelines I want to do my application and submit it before the deadline.


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