Application Deadline: February 28, 2021.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of YALI, the U.S. Department of State, in partnership with the Wilson Center, is pleased to announce the YALI 10 Year Anniversary Competition under the theme “YALI at 10: My Life, My Community, and My World.”
Selected submissions will be showcased at the YALI 10th anniversary virtual summit in May 2021, where we will celebrate a decade of YALI change-makers and their achievements. Submissions may include videos, short essays, poems, songs, spoken word, and sketches. They may also be showcased at a Live Stream event scheduled in fall 2021 or by the Department of State.
YALI alumni are invited to describe or demonstrate how YALI has impacted your personal and professional development, and how you’ve made a difference in your communities and around the world. Individuals or alumni groups may compete and submissions may be in written, video, audio, or multimedia format. Individual submissions should correspond to one of YALI’s three curriculum tracks. Group submissions may be cross-cutting across tracks.
Established in 2010, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is the U.S. Government’s signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders. Over the past decade, YALI grew from 115 young leaders to include more than 24,000 alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship exchange program, four Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs) in Africa, and an extensive digital community called the YALI Network with more than 650,000 members. These programs aim to strengthen democratic institutions and good governance, spur economic growth and prosperity, and foster peace and security in Africa.
Entries from this contest may be announced and promoted on various Woodrow Wilson Center, YALI, and Department of State Social Media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn but contest entry and administration will take place through e-mail. Contest winners may also be announced on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn; however Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are not partners or sponsors of the contest. Contestants are reminded that by participating in the contest and uploading content to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn they are bound by Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn’s Terms of Service and any agreements with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn contained therein.
How to Enter
Submission Content Guidelines:
All submissions must adhere to the following guidelines:
Demonstrate why YALI matters by addressing one or all of the following questions:
- How am I different because of my involvement with YALI?
- What has been the impact of YALI on my personal and/or professional development?
- What did I learn in YALI that I hope to share with others professionally?
- How has YALI impacted my community and country?
You may want to sit and reflect on some of these questions to help to inspire you in creating your submission. Successful submissions will show sincerity and high-quality expression of thought.
- What does it mean to be an exceptional leader, and what did your YALI experience teach you about leadership?
- In which ways have you demonstrated service leadership after your YALI experience?
- Whose leadership inspires and motivates you, and why?
- What are the most difficult choices and/or trade-offs you’ve had to make as a leader or you have watched a leader make?
- What is the most challenging feedback you’ve received and what was the impact and outcome?
- What questions are you currently wrestling with in your business or organization and leadership – and how is YALI a part of your ability to solve the problem?
- What advice do you have for the next generation of young African leaders?
Correspond to one of YALI’s three curriculum tracks:
- Civic Engagement
- Public Management
Submissions of various types are welcome in Portuguese, French, or English, but should comply with the following guidelines:
Personal Reflection Essay or Poem
- Submissions of no more than 350 words
- Essays must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman and submitted in Microsoft Word format
- The reflection must be the original work of the applicant. As personal reflection essays, citations are not required, but if quoting or citing someone, you should provide a full citation at the end of the document (not part of the 350 word limit)
- Original photography or photo collection submissions
- Photos should be in JPEG or PNG format and ideally in high resolution
- Photo dimensions: 1024×768 pixels or larger
- Submit photos no larger than 7 MBs
- Photos or photo collections should include a description of 350 words or less explaining why they were chosen.
Video (Music, Spoken Word, etc.)
- Video/Music recording submissions of no more than 3 minutes in length
- Video resolution should be at least 1080p (1920 x 1080) or 4K (3840 × 2160)
- Videos should be in MOV, MP4, WMV, AVI, AVCHD, FLV, F4V, or SWF format
- Competition is open to all alumni of YALI programs, including the 2010 President’s Forum for Young African Leaders, 2011 First Lady’s Forum for Young African Women Leaders, 2012 Innovation Summit and Mentoring Partnership for Young African Leaders, Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, and the YALI Regional Leadership Centers. Contestants may not be U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.
- Contestants must be at least 18years old on the date of entry into the contest.
- The individual submitting the entry will be considered the contestant and will be the only individual eligible to compete. Alumni groups such as cohorts or alumni associations are eligible to compete, either as an entity, or through representation by an individual. In order to be eligible, the contestant must provide complete and accurate information.
- The following individuals are not eligible to participate in the contest: Employees, interns, directors, and officers of the Contest Sponsors, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn,or the U.S. Government; or any employees, interns, directors, officers of any agencies, companies or entities involved in the administration, advertising, judging, creation, development, execution, and/or fulfillment of the contest, and the immediate family members (defined as spouse, recognized partner, parent, child, sibling, and spouse or “step” of each) and those living in the same household of each such individual.
- Once a submission has been accepted for entry into the contest, the contestant’s name (or User ID, if the contestants wishes to remain anonymous) and country may be publicly identified at the sole discretion of the contestants.
- Complete and attach the following short form including your bio line (50 words) that includes your name, country, YALI Affiliation, and contact information. Submission Form: https://forms.gle/biQErdHhxeHM5QXu6
- Essay and photo submissions should be addressed to [email protected] and submitted no later than February 28, 2021. Early submissions are encouraged.
- To submit a video, upload the video to YouTube under your own username, captioning the video with the hashtag #YALIat10. The video submission can be uploaded in any format accepted by YouTube, but should not be longer than three minutes.
- A submission must be an original video, taken/produced by the contestant. Email a link to your submission to [email protected] and complete the submission form linked above no later than February 28, 2021.
- Submissions will be accepted in French, Portuguese, and English.
- Individual contestants may submit no more than one individual submission.
- Alumni groups may submit no more than one group submission.
- Individuals may submit up to one individual submission and one group submission.
- Questions? Contact [email protected]
Participation in the contest is deemed as acceptance of these Official Contest Rules. Once an entry is submitted, it is considered a final submission and may not be modified, edited or replaced.
The contest commences on January 16, 2021 at 01:00 Eastern Standard Time in the United States (Washington D.C).This is equivalent to:
- 06:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC) (Dakar, Abidjan, Accra)
- 07:00 West Africa Time (Algiers, Lagos, Kinshasa, Luanda)
- 08:00 Central Africa Time/Egypt Standard Time/South African Standard Time (Cairo, Kigali, Johannesburg, Maputo)
- 09:00 East Africa Time (Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Antananarivo).
The contest closes on February 28, 2021. Judging begins on March 8, 2021 and ends on March 26, 2021. For more information visit the YALI 10 Year Anniversary page on the official website of the Wilson Center: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/young-african-leaders-initiative-yali-10-year-anniversary
General Requirements for All Submissions:
- Submissions must not contain obscenity, explicit sexual material, nudity, profanity, graphic violence, calls or incitement to violence, commercial solicitation or commercial promotion. Submissions must conform to local law and must not contain content or images that could be considered abusive, inflammatory, denigrating, or disrespectful to any of the Contest Sponsors, or to any groups, individuals or institutions. Submissions must adhere both in appearance and in fact to the norms of civil discourse. In other words, the content of all submissions must be suitable for a global, public audience.
- Submissions must be original content created by the contestant and must not contain any elements that are protected by someone else’s copyright or otherwise subject to third party intellectual property or proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights (except as expressly permitted below in (d)). Contest Sponsors recognize no allowance for “fair use” of copyrighted material, nor do Contest Sponsors recognize allowance for use of licensed materials created or owned by a third party.
- Contest Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify, at their sole and absolute discretion, any submission that does not adhere to these criteria and to the intent and substance of these Official Contest Rules.
- In the event of any question or difference of views regarding compliance with, interpretation, or application of these content requirements or other provisions of these Official Contest Rules, Contest Sponsors reserve the exclusive right to resolve such questions or differences of views in their sole discretion.
Requirements for Photos
- By submitting a photograph to the contest, the contestant affirms that he or she has obtained written consent from all individuals whose image or likeness appears in the photograph (or from the individuals’ parent/legal guardian if any such individuals are considered a minor in their country of residence), and that he or she has obtained the necessary rights, licenses, consents, and permissions to use all material such as music, images, text and other content in the submission. The contestant further affirms that he or she is prepared to provide reliable documentation of any and all such consents, licenses, etc., upon request. Failure to obtain such rights, license consents, and permissions may result in the disqualification of the photo submission at the Contest Sponsors’ sole and absolute discretion.
- Technical Format Requirements for Photos: Photo submissionsmust be in JPEG or PNG format, 7megabytes or smaller, but photo size must be no smaller than 1024×768 pixels. Submissions should not have any visible watermarks, signatures, or personally identifiable information.
- Retouching of Photos:The submitted photograph cannot be significantly retouched: nothing in the photograph (people, animals, scenery, objects, etc.) may be altered, removed, augmented or rearranged. Cropping is permitted, as is modest darkening or lightening of parts of the image.
Requirements for Videos
- By submitting a video to the contest, the contestant affirms that he or she has obtained written consent from all individuals whose image or likeness appears in the video (or from the individuals’ parent/legal guardian if any such individuals are considered a minor in their country of residence), and that he or she has obtained the necessary rights, licenses, consents, and permissions to use all material such as music, images, text and other content in the submission. The contestant further affirms that he or she is prepared to provide reliable documentation of any and all such consents, licenses, etc., upon request. Failure to obtain such rights, license consents, and permissions may result in the disqualification of the video submission at the Contest Sponsors’ sole and absolute discretion.
- Editing of Video: All conventional video-editing techniques are allowable. Videos may be edited through any program and in any format, but must be compressed and submitted in a format accepted by the YouTube platform.
For More Information: