US Ambassador congratulates 74 young Malagasy leaders

ANTANANARIVO – Addressing 74 Malagasy participants in the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), U.S. Ambassador Claire Pierangelo called on young leaders to serve as mentors and role models for young aspirants in their communities and to work together to solve the pressing challenges facing Madagascar and the world at a ceremony in Antananarivo on Friday. Ambassador Pierangelo made clear the US government’s commitment to the next generation of Malagasy leaders: “The United States believes in you and we stand with you.

Climate and women’s rights activist Marie Christina Kolo also received special recognition as the recipient of the 2022 YALI Leadership Impact Award. Kolo, a 2017 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship alumnus, was selected from nearly 5,100 eligible YALI alumni around the world for her achievements as a changemaker and leader serving the environment and gender sectors in Madagascar.

This group of emerging leaders included 60 YALI Regional Leadership Center workshop participants, 11 recently returned YALI Mandela WashingtonFellows, and three YALI Alumni Enrichment Institute graduates.

During the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, young African leaders from government, civil society, and business travel to the United States for six weeks of leadership training and academic courses at American universities. The YALI Alumni Enrichment Institutes offer Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni the opportunity to return to the United States to collaborate with their American counterparts and put to use the skills they have developed during their fellowships. The YALI Regional Leadership Center program offers in-person and online training in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management from centers in Senegal and South Africa.

The Young African Leaders Initiative is the US government’s flagship effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. For more information about YALI, visit

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