The Young African Women Leaders Forum

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 21, 2011

The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Embassy in South Africa, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the White House are sponsoring the Young African Women Leaders Forum, a two-day workshop and conference in South Africa for women across the continent. The Young African Women Leaders Forum builds on existing partnerships with African youth and African women, as part of the Administration’s commitment to enhanced engagement with the people of Africa and the governments of African nations. On June 22, 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama will address the Forum, and participate in the discussion and service activities with 76 young women leaders - 44 from South Africa and 32 from 23 other African countries.

The African women leaders range in age from 16 to 30 and represent the fields of education, health, civil society, business, and the media. U.S. Embassies in Africa in coordination with USAID, African organizations, delegates to the August 2010 President’s Forum with Young African Leaders in Washington, and the White House selected the participants. They will explore opportunities in education, entrepreneurship, and health to empower young women as leaders of social, economic and political development on the continent. Through the Forum, we are working to expand the network among young African women and to strengthen our partnerships with civil society, business and governments in Africa. To expand the discussion of young women’s leadership, the Africa Bureau of the Department of State has dedicated its Facebook page to a discussion of these themes, challenges and solutions. By creating a platform for a focused conversation around the Forum and the First Lady’s trip to southern Africa, we hope to facilitate networking among Africans and between Africans and Americans. We invite you to visit

Part of the sustained effort by the United States to understand the aspirations of young Africans and learn how we can become better partners to build a more just, democratic and prosperous future for all the people of Africa, this Forum follows on the August 2010 President's Forum with Young African Leaders in Washington, DC, the many programs hosted by U.S. Embassies in Africa throughout the year, and the month-long Dialogue with Young African Leaders that produced more than 200 programs in 37 countries in Africa during May 2011. Working with African civil society, business and government, the U.S. Government seeks to use these activities to give young Africans a platform from which to express their values and aspirations. Looking forward to the African Union Summit June 30-July 1, 2011, we support the values of the African Union Youth Charter and will continue to work across the continent to further those goals.

More information can be found at:  //

PRN: 2011/1026