Remarks by Ambassador Pittman at Opening of YALI Regional Leadership Center in Maputo

Ambassador Dean Pittman delivering remarks during the First Cohort Opening Event of YALI Regional Leadership Center in Maputo.

Remarks at Opening of YALI Regional Leadership Center in Maputo


Eduardo Mondlane University

Monday, October 31, 2016


Ambassador Dean Pittman at the First Cohort Opening Event of YALI RLCenter in Maputo
Ambassador Dean Pittman delivering remarks during the First Cohort Opening Event of YALI Regional Leadership Center in Maputo.

Dr. Quilambo

Dr. Macome

Professor Moche

Dr. Mokate

Ms. Machanguana

YALI Regional Leadership Center participants, good morning.

On behalf of the U.S. government I would like to welcome you to the opening of the Maputo satellite center of the Regional Leadership Center for Southern Africa. It is a great pleasure for me to be here today with you to welcome the first cohort of the Young African Leadership Initiative Regional Leadership Center in Maputo with participants from Angola and Mozambique.

The Regional Leadership Centers exemplifies President Obama’s vision for the YALI program to support the next generation of leaders – to build your skills to contribute to improving the accountability and transparency of government, starting and growing businesses, and serving your communities and the region.

As the President said earlier this year in addressing a group of YALI participants: “the world will not be able to deal with climate change or terrorism, or expanding women’s rights – all the issues that we face globally – without a rising and dynamic and self-reliant Africa.  And that, more importantly than anything else, depends on a rising generation of new leaders.  It depends on you.”

I want to thank our in-country partners, the Eduardo Mondlane University and Ideialab, as well as the University of South Africa.  They have worked extremely hard the last couple of years to turn this vision into a reality.

I cannot help but be inspired by the participants.  You are outstanding individuals doing amazing things.  You all have an inspirational story to tell.  Many of you have already made great strides toward your goals.  Your achievements remind us of the incredible talent in this young generation. You all truly represent the diversity of Africa’s future leaders.

I am happy you have the opportunity to engage with each other and work together to achieve the vision of the YALI program.  Young African leaders like yourselves can and definitely will create value and positive change through their talents, creativity and insights; not just for themselves, but for their own communities, their countries and the region, and for the rest of the world.

Over the next four weeks you will be hearing from some highly experienced professionals and academics and will be learning and acquiring essential skills to succeed in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  Being a strong leader is not easy – it implies a great sense of responsibility.  As you return to your communities, you have a responsibility to share the lessons that you learned here. I hope that you will create opportunities to expand those lessons throughout Angola and Mozambique.  I thank you for choosing this path and creating the future you wish to see for Africa and the world.

Thank you to everyone in this room for the important work you all are doing in an area that everyone agrees is essential to the success of Africa – youth leadership development.

To the participants, good luck in the next four weeks.  I hope that this experience will inspire you to be an even stronger force for positive change in your communities, your countries, in Africa and in the world.