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H.R. 965 (117th): YALI Act of 2021


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 11, 2021 (Introduced).


I

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 965

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 11, 2021

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To establish a comprehensive United States Government initiative to build the capacity of young leaders and entrepreneurs in Africa, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Young African Leaders Initiative Act of 2021 or the YALI Act of 2021.

2.

Sense of congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

the Young African Leaders Initiative, launched in 2010, is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders;

(2)

Africa is a continent of strategic importance and it is vital for the United States to support strong and enduring partnerships with the next generation of African leaders; and

(3)

the United States Government should prioritize investments to build the capacity of young emerging African leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, including through efforts to enhance leadership skills, encourage entrepreneurship, strengthen public administration and the role of civil society, and connect young African leaders continentally and globally across the private, civic, and public sectors.

3.

Young African leaders initiative program

(a)

In general

There is established in the Department of State the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) program.

(b)

Duties

The YALI program shall seek to build to capacity of young African leaders in sub-Saharan Africa in the areas of civic engagement, entrepreneurship and business development, including through efforts to—

(1)

support young African leaders by offering professional development and a global network to share expertise, including in the areas of civic leadership, elections, human rights, good governance and public management;

(2)

provide increased economic and technical assistance to young African leaders and entrepreneurs, to strengthen ties between United States and African businesses.

(c)

Fellowships

The YALI program shall award Mandela Washington Fellowships to young leaders who have demonstrated strong capabilities in entrepreneurship, innovation, public service, and leadership, and who have had a positive impact in their communities, organizations, or institutions.

(d)

Regional leadership centers

The YALI program shall offer training to young leaders who have demonstrated strong capabilities in entrepreneurship, innovation, public service and leadership, and who have had a positive impact in their communities, organizations, or institutions, by seeking to establish regional leadership centers in sub-Saharan Africa.

(e)

Activities

(1)

United states-based activities

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development, shall oversee all United States-based activities carried out under the YALI program, including the following:

(A)

The participation of Mandela Washington Fellows in a six-week Leadership Institute at a United States university or college in business, civic engagement, or public management, including academic sessions, site visits, professional networking opportunities, leadership training, community service, and organized cultural activities.

(B)

The participation by Mandela Washington Fellows in an annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, to provide such Fellows the opportunity to meet with United States leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

(2)

Africa-based activities

The United States should continue to support overseas initiatives of the program, including the following:

(A)

Quality leadership training, professional development, and networking opportunities for Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni upon their return to their home countries, including online courses.

(B)

Training for young African leaders at regional leadership centers established in accordance with subsection (d), and through online courses offered by such centers.

(C)

Opportunities for networking with—

(i)

alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship;

(ii)

alumni of the programs at YALI Regional Leadership Centers established in accordance with subsection (d), who offer leadership training programs at higher education institutions in sub-Saharan Africa; and

(iii)

American and African professionals and experts.

(D)

Opportunities through the United States Africa Development Foundation to facilitate professional development and sharing of expertise in the home countries of Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni and throughout the African continent.

(3)

Implementation

To carry out this subsection, United States diplomatic and consular posts, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, the Secretary of State, and agency external partners managing and implementing the YALI program—

(A)

shall promote United States policy goals in Africa by providing tools and resources to help young African leaders develop important skills and connections, including through online campaigns and public diplomacy initiatives;

(B)

shall establish a system for monitoring, evaluating, and improving the YALI program; and

(C)

may accept financial contributions from foundations, corporations, private donors, program partners, and implementing agency external partners intended to foster the goals of the YALI program.

(f)

Reports

(1)

Strategy

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of USAID, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for implementing the YALI program, including the following:

(A)

YALI program goals, targets, and planned outcomes for each year and, separately, for the YALI program generally during the duration of its implementation.

(B)

A YALI program monitoring and evaluation plan, including metrics for measuring YALI program progress and determining whether YALI program goals, targets, and planned outcomes of growing the United States and Africa trade relationship, strengthening civil society and public administration, and supporting innovation and investment in the next generation of African leaders have been met annually and, separately, for the YALI program generally, during the duration of its implementation.

(2)

Annual reports

The Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of USAID, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees and publish in a publicly accessible, internet-based form, an annual report for the 5-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act on—

(A)

YALI program progress and an assessment of the metrics, goals, targets, and outcomes referred to in paragraph (1)(A), including information relating to YALI program implementation and outcome activities during the year covered by each report; and

(B)

recommendations for improvements or amendments to the YALI program and strategy, if any, that would improve their effectiveness during subsequent years of YALI program implementation.

(3)

Final report

Not later than December 1, 2025, the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Administrator of USAID, shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a final assessment report that evaluates YALI program implementation and outcomes during the entire duration of YALI program operation, including recommendations regarding whether the YALI program should be reauthorized and any changes that would improve its effectiveness.

(g)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means—

(A)

the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives;

(B)

the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives;

(C)

the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate; and

(D)

the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate.

(2)

Implementing agency external partners

The term implementing agency external partners means any external partner that is not a United States Government agency, and may include one or more of the following entities:

(A)

Local or multinational corporations.

(B)

Nongovernmental organizations.

(C)

Universities.

(D)

Regional institutions.