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Monday, 4 August 2014

Obama announces creation of Leadership Centre in Kenya

barack obamaUS President Barrack Obama has announced setting up of a regional leadership centre in Kenya which will be operational beginning 2015.

Three others, he announced, would also be set up in Ghana, Senegal and South Africa "in order to improve the availability and quality of leadership training programmes and professional development opportunities for young African Leaders."

Obama's announcement ironically follows the suspension of its Peace Corps programme in Kenya over security concerns.

"While volunteers are leaving, the Peace Corps plans to retain its office in Kenya and will continue to assess the safety and security climate," Shira Kramer, the spokesperson for the Peace Corps told the Associated Press.

USAID, the White House said, would provide Sh3.3 billion for the centres with support from a number of multi-national corporations. "American and African companies and foundations have more than matched these funds."

Obama made his announcement during a town hall meeting with the first set of Young African Leaders (YALI) to undergo six weeks of training in the United States in the areas of entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public administration.

During the town hall meet, President Obama also renamed the initiative the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. "The spirit of YALI reflects Madiba's optimism, his idealism, his belief in what he called the endless heroism of youth."

Given the over 50,000 African youth who applied to participate in the fellowship programme, President Obama also announced that come 2016 the number of annual participants would have doubled from 500 to 1,000.

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