Malawi human rights activist and Youth and Society (YAS) director Charles Kajoloweka has been selected for the flagship program of the US President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which aims to bring 500 most promising young leaders in Africa under the age of 35 to the White House and top U.S. universities for a period of six-weeks for leadership training, academic coursework, mentoring, and networking opportunities.
Kajoloweka has been selected as Fellow with other seven Malawians selected from a group of 700 Malawian applicants, according to Marcus Muhariwa, information specialist at the US Embassy in Lilongwe.
The Malawi group includes Madalitso Chidumu, an agri-business professional working with Self Help Africa as an agribusiness and value chain management coordinator and also founder and director of a social enterprise called Impact; Andrew Longwe, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Capital Financial Services; and Marshall Dyton, CEO of Freelance Web Solutions Malawi and founder and editor-in-chief of Malawi Muslims Official Website.
Others are Chancy Gondwe, a teacher who trains adult literacy teachers to start their own literacy programmes using special literacy methods designed by Literacy International; Tadala Thembakako, founder and executive director of Girls with a Vision Association (Gwava); Jane Jana, a medical officer at Mulanje District Hospital and Yamikani Chunga, a youth leader.
They were selected based on a proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service, business and entrepreneurship, or civic engagement; demonstrated commitment to community service and a commitment to apply their leadership skills to benefit their home country and Africa, among other criteria.
While in US, the eight Malawian youth will be interacting with President Obama at a three–day Presidential Summit, to be held in the White House in Washington DC.
During the summit, they will also have the opportunity to interact with prominent U.S. leaders in the fields of business, government, and the non-profit sector. They will also participate in an intensive six weeks academic and leadership program at top American universities, as of June 19.
They are expected to depart for the United States next month.
Nine young Malawians leaders participated in the programme last year and had an opportunity to meet Obama and other leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors at a presidential summit in Washington D.C.