Bureau of Public Affairs
August 2, 2010


“This is a new moment of great promise. Only this time, we’ve learned that it will not be giants like Nkrumah and Kenyatta who will determine Africa’s future… It will be the young people brimming with talent and energy and hope who can claim the future that so many in previous generations never realized.” – President Barack Obama


Objectives of the Young Leaders Forum

• Learn from young African leaders in civil society and business how they are motivating youth, while highlighting for global audiences a new generation of Africans who will shape sub-Saharan Africa’s next 50 years.

• Emphasize the Administration’s priority of mutual responsibility as the foundation of the U.S.-Africa partnership and reinforce the U.S. commitment to supporting African solutions to Africa’s challenges.

• Help build networks between young American and African leaders that will lead to lasting partnerships.


In 2010, 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa are celebrating 50 years of independence. In honor of this important benchmark in African history and to recognize the continent’s significant achievements since independence, the United States will host a conference for young African leaders in Washington, D.C., August 3-5. The event will bring together 115 young leaders from civil society and the private sector from more than 40 African countries with their American counterparts and U.S. government officials. It will focus on key themes of America’s partnerships with African nations including youth empowerment, good governance and economic opportunity.

On August 3, President Obama will host a town hall meeting at the White House with the young leaders to discuss their vision for Africa for the next 50 years.

Africans Building Their Own Futures

The President’s Forum with Young African Leaders presents the U.S. Government and American “friends of Africa” with an unprecedented opportunity to meet with a broad cross-section of Africa’s next generation of leaders and learn more about their roles as motivators for transformational change and new growth in their societies.

Mutual Responsibility and Civic Engagement

The Forum’s core messages will be:

  • Mutual responsibility and respect as the foundation of the relationship between and among African countries and between Africa and the United States.
  • Civic engagement as a catalyst for opportunity and building a better future.

Developing a Vision for Africa

In addition to the Town Hall meeting with the President, the Forum will include sessions on such topics as transparency and accountability, job creation and entrepreneurship, using technology and innovation to foster engagement and development, and democracy and elections. The role of the U.S. Government throughout the Forum will be primarily to moderate and stimulate discussions. Participants will explain their own vision for Africa and how they might achieve it. The U.S. Government is determined to support their vision and goals.

Using Technology to Continue the Discussion

Blogging, facebooking, SMSing and other forms of information sharing will be an integral part of the program and will expand and extend the conversations to African and American audiences well beyond the days of the Forum.