Fraudsters target Obama’s empowerment initiative
By MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – UNSUSPECTING youths have been alerted to criminals out to dupe them of their money under the pretext of registering them for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) courses.
Macon Phillips, Coordinator of International Information Programmes at the United States Department of State, said recently, there had been attempts to charge fees for #YALILearns events and the YALI Network Online Courses.
“It is important that Network members know that the courses are and will remain free online at yali.state.gov/courses. Aside from accessing the Internet, Network members should never pay a fee to take one of the YALI Network Online Courses,” said Phillips.
Phillips meanwhile said the YALI brand should never be used to advocate for or against any personal, professional, or public interests.
No one has the right to make every Network member responsible for their statements or actions without their permission. Doing so could cause real harm in ways no one could know,” he said.
“I have been and will continue to be a strong voice in support of this Network long after I have left the State Department. But ultimately it is you and the Network who will guarantee its integrity and success.”
The YALI Network includes over 200 000 young Africans leaders.
YALI is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.
United States President Barack Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.
Philips said the YALI Network had seen phenomenal growth and activity over the past two years but that success had exposed the programme to fraudulent schemes
Since 2010, the US Department of State has held 15 exchange programs specifically for young African leaders and sponsored more than 1 600 sub-Saharan students and scholars through its educational and cultural affairs programmes.
US Embassies have awarded 80 small grants totaling $1,25 million to YALI alumni groups supporting youth development in Africa.
– CAJ News
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