The Obama Administration's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which started in 2010, is a long-term effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. The program brings over 500 young leaders to the United States for leadership training, academic coursework and mentoring. This initiative seeks to create unique opportunities for young leaders while equipping them with new skills required to propel economic growth.
Mohlahlana and Mangope will get the opportunity to interact with Obama over a three-day summit. They will also enroll for six-weeks of intensive academic and leadership program at a chosen US institution, meet members of the US government, as well as civic and business leaders. There will also be an opportunity for trainees to get access to millions of dollars in the form of small grant funding.
Trainees who form part of this programme will join a continent-wide and global alumni network and enrich their potential to find innovative solutions to economic, social and political challenges faced by their countries.
The programme has identified the following areas of importance, and each trainee will be placed in each of these areas:
- Business and Entrepreneurship: designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who hope to take on leadership roles within the private sector or start their own business ventures on the continent.
- Civic Leadership: oriented to young Africans who are civically engaged and serve the public through nongovernmental organisations and volunteer or community-based organisations.
- Public Management: tailored to young Africans who work or aspire to work in all levels of government, regional organisations such as the African Union, international bodies such as the United Nations, or other public-minded entities or think tanks.
An excited Cathy Mohlahlana said she is deeply humbled to have been chosen to be part of this great opportunity which will not only impart richness into her life - but will enable her to make significant contributions to the South African community.
"I'm particularly passionate about the education sector as the late Nelson R. Mandela said, 'Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that a son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, a child of farm workers can become the president...' It's something I genuinely believe in," she enthused.
Mohlahlana has extensive field reporting experience, has most recently been involved in the 2014 National and Provincial Elections and the Oscar Pistorius trial. She has been with eNCA for four years. Mohlahlana will be involved in the Civic Leadership division based at the University of Delaware, between Washington and New York.
Mangope is currently the insert producer, current affairs analyst, field reporter and presenter at e.tv's breakfast show, Sunrise
. She has just completed her three-year tenure as the host of the Current Affairs
talk show on South Africa's only youth broadcasting station, YFM. Faith Mangope is the founder of the New G in Business Forums. These are bi-monthly empowerment forums which are aimed at educating young professionals, entrepreneurs, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs on the different sectors of industry in South Africa.
In 2012 she assumed the role of Moderator for the Steve Biko Foundation Frank Talk Radio Dialogues. She is a columnist for the New Age
newspaper titled "The New G" published every Friday. She has recently been profiled by the BBC World News as a youth leader and career woman, "which aired in August 2013".
Mangope has been chosen under the Business and Entrepreneurship division in Texas. "I am honoured to be chosen to participate in such an initiative and look forward to learning, growing, and being resourced so that upon my return, South Africa and the African continent will be impacted and empowered," said Mangope.