Young African Leaders celebrate their arrival in Atlanta with former Ambassador Andrew Young in 2016.
Fatoumata Barry Bangaly of Conakry, Guinea, celebrates the U.S. Fourth of July.

The campuses of Clark Atlanta and Georgia State universities are hosting once again this summer Young African Leaders under a program of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational Affairs.

Begun in 2014, the fellowship this year is providing 1,000 leaders between the ages of 25-35 from Sub-Saharan Africa to study for six weeks at one of 14 U.S. colleges and universities that are to enhance their professional development through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

President Obama launched the highly selective Young African Leadership Initiative to bring the leaders to the U.S. based on their records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries.

Each fellow participates in one of three tracks offered by the program: business and entrepreneurship, civil leadership or public management.

At the end of the six weeks, all of the fellows are to meet in Washington for a Presidential Summit. A number of the fellows are then to participate in another six weeks of professional development training with U.S. government organizations and private companies.

Young African Leaders participating in the Clark Atlanta summer program.

For the third consecutive year, Clark Atlanta is participating in the program, which was first established on the campus by Professor Mesfin Bezuneh, a member of the university’s economic faculty.

Nineteen different countries are represented in this year’s class of 25 participants including Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Chad, Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

CAU President Ronald A. Johnson said in a news release concerning the program that “The relationships developed over the last two years have been particularly fruitful in advancing the university’s ability to tap into a global, entrepreneurial mindset and certainly a dynamic brain trust of emerging global leadership. This serves not only our students but our faculty and alumni, by expanding the scope and reach of our academic, innovation and entrepreneurial enterprises.”

Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies has been chosen to partner with the program for a second year and its International Center for Public Policy is implementing the course work.

The 25 fellows at the Andrew Young School this year are from Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Click here to learn more about the individuals enrolled in the Andrew Young program.

Once their program is over in the U.S., the participants can maintain their relations through the YALI Network, which besides ongoing connectivity provides opportunities for on-line learning and access to a wide variety of experts across the globe.

The International Research and Exchanges Board Inc. assisted the State Department in organizing this year’s program. To access a database of all the Young African Leaders in the U.S. this summer click here.

For more information about the Clark Atlanta program, call Donna Brock at (404) 880-8337 or send an email to To learn more about the YALIs at Georgia State, call Shereen Bhan at (404) 413-0236 or send an email to