We recommend printing these instructions to help you prepare your responses ahead of time and referring to them while completing the application for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Regional Leadership Center East Africa.
I. GENERAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND TIPS
- Currently, the only method for applying to participate in the YALI RLC EA Program is via an online application. You will need access to a desktop computer/tablet/smart phone and the Internet to apply. Only those applicants who fully complete the online application will be considered. Applications and information submitted through email or other means will not be considered.
- You do not have to finish your application in one session. You may save your work and return later to continue working on your application as many times as necessary until completion. Please note the deadlines stipulated for your preferred cohort dates.
- Answer all questions on the application in English. Spelling and grammar will not be evaluated especially for Francophone applicants. However, ensure you articulate your achievements clearly.
- Questions that require a response are marked with an asterisk (*). Questions that are not marked with an asterisk are OPTIONAL and do not have to be completed.
- All answers in the application including written responses to personal statements must be your own original work. Plagiarism will not be tolerated, and applicants found to have plagiarized will be disqualified.
- You may wish to review the application and its questions before filling in the application. Some applicants find it helpful to create their responses offline (in a separate Word document for example) and then cut and paste their responses into the appropriate sections of the application.
- Important: There are two track-specific essay questions. You are highly advised not to change your track once you answer the related questions. Changing tracks as an afterthought will lead to loss of all your answers to the previous track. In case you change your track, you will need to answer its related questions too. Otherwise, you risk submitting a blank application which will lead to your disqualification.
II. ONLINE APPLICATION SECTIONS
The application is comprised of eight (8) steps.
- General Information
- Education and Languages
- Professional Experience
- Program Track and Cohort Selection
- Personal Statements/Essays
- Supplemental Questions
- Potential participants recommendation
- Application Submission
STEP 1: GENERAL INFORMATION
- Provide your legal First/Given Name as it appears on your birth certificate, passport, or national identification card.
- Provide your Surname or Family name as it appears on your birth certificate, passport, or national identification card.
- Provide any other given names.
- Please indicate your Gender: Male, Female or Non-conforming. The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa does not discriminate on the basis of gender or gender identity.
- Please provide your Date of Birth by selecting the year, month, and day on the pop-up calendar or using the format (YYYY-MM-DD). Only applicants between the ages of 18 and 35 at the time of the deadline for applications will be eligible. If you are selected as a semi-finalist, you will be required to provide documentation verifying your date of birth at the interview stage.
- Please provide the name of the City/Town/Village where you were born.
- Please provide the name of the Country where you were born. This could be different from your country of residence and/or country of citizenship.
- Please provide your country of legal Citizenship. You will be required to provide documentation verifying citizenship at the interview stage if you are shortlisted.
- If you are from any country other than Kenya, you will be asked if you have a Passport. This is to facilitate travel to the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, which is based in Nairobi, if you are selected. If you do have a Passport, please fill in the number, country of issue, and date of expiration. Optionally, you can upload a scan of your Passport. Please note that for all non-Kenyans, with the exception of Tanzanians and Ugandans, you are required to have a Passport in order to travel to Kenya. If you do not have a Passport, you will be required to obtain one at your own expense in time for you to participate in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa program.
- If you are Kenyan, you will be asked if you have a National ID. If you have a National ID, please fill in the number and date of expiration. Optionally, you can upload a scan of your National ID. Please note that Kenyans will be required to have a National ID in order to participate in the program. If you do not have a National ID, you will be required to obtain one at your own expense in time for you to participate in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa program.
- Residence - Please select the Country and city where you currently reside.
- Please characterize the area where you currently live/work/where your project or initiative is based among the three provided categories: Urban, Peri-urban, or Rural. Urban refers to a major city or town; Peri-urban refers to an area that is adjacent to or in the periphery/outskirts of an urban city or town (i.e., between a rural and urban area); and Rural - refers to an upcountry or countryside area that is not urban.
- Please provide a working email address which you check regularly as this will be the primary mode of contacting you. Depending on how you logged into the site, your email address may automatically appear. Please double check that it is correct, failure to which you risk missing important updates or notifications about your application.
- Please fill in your primary phone number. It is important that we are able to reach you in the case that you are short-listed for an interview.
- Please fill in another phone number (if you have one) where we can reach you in case we cannot reach you on your primary phone number. This could be a parent, spouse, other family member, or work phone number. You will have a chance to update this during the interviews in case of any changes.
- Please fill in another email address (if you have one) where we can reach you in case we cannot reach you via your primary email address. This could be a personal or work email address.
- Please fill in your P.O. Box number if you have one.
- Please fill in your city where your P.O. Box is located if you have one.
- Please fill in the Post Code of your P.O. Box, if you have one.
- If you use WhatsApp, please check “Yes,” and indicate the phone number to which your account is associated. We may use WhatsApp to reach you if all other methods fail. Note that this is optional.
- If you have a Twitter account, please check “Yes,” and indicate your Twitter handle. Note that this is optional.
- If you have a Skype account, please check “Yes,” and indicate your Skype ID. Note that this is optional.
- If you have a Facebook account, please check “Yes,” and indicate your Facebook ID. Note that this is optional.
STEP 2: EDUCATION AND LANGUAGES
Please tell us about your educational background. Indicate your highest level of education completed, and your course of study. Please also indicate if you are currently enrolled in school/college/university. While the YALI RLC EA program values a person’s education, there is no minimum level of education or minimum grade required to participate in the program.
English language proficiency is required for participation in the YALI RLC EA Program. All activities will be conducted in English, including academic sessions, discussions, meetings, cultural activities, and social interactions. Please fill in the chart evaluating your English language skills (Basic, Intermediate or Advanced) as accurately as possible and also tell us what other languages you speak.
STEP 3: PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
Please tell us about your professional experience. This can include formal or informal employment, self-employment, or other forms of engagement with organizations. It is not mandatory that you are or to have ever been employed before, but we want to know as much about you as possible.
List up to three (3) positions you have held, starting with the most current.
- Organization/Company Name: What is or was the name of the organization or company you worked for?
- Was this self-employment? “Yes” or “No”
- Position/Job Title: What was your position or the job title you held?
- When were you in that position, from what month and year to when? If you are still in this position, select “Current,” otherwise, select the month and year when you terminated/resigned from the role/position.
- Key Responsibilities and Achievements: Lastly, tell us a little about what your responsibilities and achievements were in that position. Please be brief and note that the word limit is one hundred (100) words.
Repeat this process for up to two (2) additional positions you held.
STEP 4: PROGRAM TRACK & COHORT SELECTION
There are three tracks to choose from: Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, and Public Management. Participants may only participate in one of the tracks which aligns most closely with their current and/or future career or vocational achievements and/or aspirations. Read the descriptions of each track carefully before making your selection.
Business & Entrepreneurship: This track caters to the range of emerging or aspiring entrepreneurs who hope to take on leadership roles within the private sector or build their own business ventures on the continent. It will expose participants to business and entrepreneurial approaches, including those that are employed to address social issues. It will also build technical and leadership capacity in areas such as strategy, operations, supply chain management, business ethics, social entrepreneurship, microfinance, organizational development and management, marketing, innovation and technology, emerging markets and risk analysis, strategic business planning, and corporate social responsibility.
Civic Leadership: This track is oriented to those who are or aspire to be civically engaged and serving the public through non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, or volunteerism. It will expose participants to the meaning of civic leadership, while building technical and leadership capacity in areas such as citizenship, community building, economic development, grassroots activism, political organizing and leadership, and volunteerism. Sub-themes such as organizational management, strategic planning, fundraising, community relations and outreach, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, media, and coalition-building may also be explored depending on the needs and desires of the participants.
Public Management: This track is tailored to those who work or aspire to work in any level of government (including elected positions), regional organizations such as the African Union or the East Africa Community, international organizations such as the United Nations, or other publicly minded organizations or think tanks. It will expose participants to public management models and best practices, while building technical and leadership capacity in areas such as transparency, procurement, public financial management, government tender processes, legislative/executive collaboration, citizen engagement and outreach, human resource management, program implementation, and policy formulation.
Applicants are asked to indicate their top three preferred cohort dates for which they shall be considered. Please note that applications are due approximately nine (9) weeks ahead of your earliest preferred cohort. The deadline for applications for a particular cohort will be indicated next to the cohort dates.
STEP 5: PERSONAL STATEMENTS
This section of the application is the most crucial. Your responses to these five questions will help the selection committee identify your current and potential leadership traits as well as understand your desire to participate in the program. Your responses are, therefore, critical in distinguishing yourself from other candidates. Please note that each response has a specified word limit. Use your own words. Do not plagiarize your answers. Plagiarism is a type of deception in which a person presents another person’s writing, ideas, or materials as their own without crediting the source. Plagiarism is strictly forbidden at the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa, and those who plagiarize their application materials will be disqualified. Please note that the staff and selection committee for the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa will be checking all applications for plagiarism. Applicants who are found to have submitted answers that are not their own will be automatically disqualified. For more information, visit www.plagiarism.org.
Important: There are two track-specific essay questions. You are highly advised not to change your track once you answer the related questions. Changing tracks as an afterthought will lead to loss of all your answers to the previous track. In case you change your track, you will need to answer its related questions too. Otherwise, you risk submitting a blank application which will lead to your disqualification.
The last question asking whether or not applicants work with PWDs (Persons Living with Disabilities), AGYW (Adolescent Girls and Young Women), or any other minority groups is for information collection purposes only, it will not be scored. Applicants can simply indicate “Not Applicable” if the answer is “No”
STEP 6: SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS
Responses to these questions are voluntary. You are NOT OBLIGATED to respond to these questions. No selections will be made based on this information. There will be no impact on your application if you choose not to answer any of these questions. Your responses will not be shown to the panel rating the applications or to anyone else who can affect your admissions decision. This information is used to better understand the people we are reaching and will help us better aim for maximum diversity. The aggregate information collected through this form will be kept private and confidential.
- Marital Status – If you so choose to disclose this information, please indicate your marital status i.e., whether you are married or single. The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa does not discriminate on the basis of marital status.
- Religious Affiliation – If you so choose to disclose this information, please indicate your religious affiliation, if any. You may choose from one of the major religions in the world on the list or write in any other religion that you adhere to. The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa does not discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation.
- Disability – If you have a disability, please indicate here. If you select “Yes,” you will be asked additional information that may be helpful for the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa to accommodate any special needs you may have. The YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa does not discriminate on the basis of disability.
- Other Leadership Courses – Please indicate if you previously participated in a leadership course or training.
- Mandela Washington Fellowship – Have you previously applied to be a YALI Mandela Washington Fellow, and if so, did you participate in the program?
- YALI Network – Are you a member of the YALI Network, and if so, have you taken online courses through the network? If not, would you be interested in joining the network?
- How did you learn about the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa? – Please indicate all the channels of communication from which you learned about the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa.
STEP 7: RECOMMENDATION
YALI RLC EA is committed to empowering more young leaders from East and Central Africa, especially young women, youth based in the rural areas, disadvantaged youth, minorities, and youth living with disabilities. If you are aware of exceptional young leaders in any of these categories whom you feel would greatly benefit from the YALI RLC EA Program, you have a chance to recommend at least five (5) of them. Please insert their first name, last name, and email address in the boxes provided and click the “Save & Next” button. They will each get an email notification that they have been recommended/nominated to apply for the YALI RLC EA Program when you submit your application. This will give them an opportunity at having the YALI experience.
STEP 8: COMPLETION & APPLICATION SUBMISSION
This is the final step of your application. Before you can submit, you must read and accept the following two statements:
In order to participate in the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa Program, I understand that I must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for admission to the program, that I must meet the qualifications standards for the specific track that I have chosen, that I must be a citizen and resident of one of the designated countries served by the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa Program, and that my admission to the program is subject to the determination by the admissions team. I have read, understand, and will comply with the terms and conditions of the program. I hereby certify that I have completed this application fully and accurately to the best of my knowledge. I understand that any falsification, omission, or concealment of material fact may subject me to disqualification.
I hereby acknowledge that if accepted as a participant in the YALI Regional Leadership East Africa program, I confirm that I will abide by the time commitment as outlined in the full 4-week program.
Once you have read and checked both statements indicating your agreement and have completed the other seven (7) steps of the application, you can click the “Submit” button.
If you have not answered any required questions, those questions will be indicated, and you will have the opportunity to complete those questions. An email reminder may be sent to applicants who have started but not yet completed an application before the deadline expires.
Please be sure to review your responses for comprehensiveness, accuracy, spelling, grammar, and clarity. Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to make any additional changes to it.
Please note that applications that have been started but not officially submitted by the deadline will not be considered. You may, however, choose to apply for a later cohort.
All applicants will receive an email acknowledging receipt of their application and information about when/how candidates will be notified.