President Obama Heads to Africa to Speak at Mandela Lecture and Identify New Foundation Leaders
The Obama Foundation is adding to its international programs. The Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa, announced today, is a one-year leadership development and civic engagement program that will train and support 200 promising young leaders across Africa working in government, civil society, and the private sector. The Foundation received nearly 10,000 applications for 200 slots. The program will launch in Johannesburg, South Africa with a five-day convening running from July 14th through July 18th and include plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, and technical trainings that will help these young, emerging leaders drive positive change throughout Africa. The convening will also include a town hall meeting with former President Barack Obama, where he will hear about their experiences and the work they’re doing. Following the South Africa convening, leaders will remain connected to the Foundation and one another via an online platform where they will engage in topical discussions, access leadership and training resources, and participate in trainings and webinars led by experts and industry leaders. This inaugural group of leaders is expected to ultimately serve as the backbone of a larger ecosystem of Foundation changemakers across the continent and, eventually, the world, as the Foundation launches similar leadership programs in regions around the world. The Foundation announced Bernadette Meehan, previously Executive Director of International Programs at the Foundation, will now serve as Chief International Officer. She will develop and oversee all international programs for the Obama Foundation.While in Johannesburg, Obama will also deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on July 17th -- a day before Nelson Mandela International Day. To honor the centennial of Madiba’s birth, the lecture’s theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World” and will focus on creating conditions for bridging divides, working across ideological lines, and resisting oppression and inequality. About 4,000 people are expected to attend the event at Ellis Park Arena. More here.