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Press Release  
Release Date: Thursday, June 12, 2014 3:47 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Young African Scholars Head to Howard as Part of Obama Initiative

WASHINGTON (June 12, 2014) – Howard University has been selected by the U.S. Department of State to serve as a host institution for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) from June 15 - July 25. The program is the Obama administration’s signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.

“Howard is being recognized as a stellar institution to be able to host this institute,” said the initiative’s program manager at Howard, Lucinda Acquaye, Ph.D. “We have the opportunity to continue the university’s mission to be civically engaged and provide leadership for America and the global community.”

Twenty universities in the United States including Howard University will host nearly 500 young African leaders who will participate in six weeks of academic programs this summer focused in areas determined by the Department of State: civic leadership, business and entrepreneurship and public management. During their time in the program, fellows will meet with U.S. government, civic and business leaders. Twenty-five young African leaders from countries including Nigeria, Djibouti, Cameroon and South Africa will participate in the program at Howard. Acquaye said Howard will include a strong service-learning component in its program.

Under the direction of Anthony Wutoh, Ph.D., assistant provost and dean of the College of Pharmacy, Howard is partnering with alumni and other members of the Howard community to create a successful program for the participants. Howard Interim President Wayne A.I. Frederick will serve as the program director for the YALI Institute, and Narendra Rustagi, a School of Business professor, will serve as the academic coordinator.

Program administrators will include Jean Bailey, cultural and civic engagement activities director; Jeronimo Augusto, program manager for international programs; Sonya Smith, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Elsie Scott, director, Ronald W. Walters Center for Leadership and Public Policy. The interdisciplinary program includes the participation of faculty from several units, including Divinity, Communications, Afro-American Studies, Business, Engineering, African Studies and History.

YALI was launched in 2010 to support the development of young African leaders in an effort to spur growth and prosperity in Africa, support democratic governance and strengthen peace and security throughout the continent. The YALI program serves as a signature effort by the Obama administration to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Through YALI, the U.S. has invested significant resources to enhance leadership skills, spur entrepreneurship and connect young African leaders with one another and with Americans.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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