Two Africans to be Honored Among Global Emerging Young Leaders



Washington, DC
April 18, 2016

Somalia’s Asha Hassan and Tunisia’s Ahlem Nasraoui will be honored with eight other global emerging young leaders at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State on April 20, 2016.

The Emerging Young Leaders Award will be granted to ten outstanding young leaders (ages 16-24) from across the globe. The awardees will visit the United States for an intensive three-week program designed to recognize and support their efforts to enact positive societal transformation.

Honorees will first visit Washington, D.C. where they will be recognized in a public ceremony for their efforts. They will also participate in Global Youth Service Day events, where they will share in the value of community service. They will attend meetings with U.S. government officials and non-governmental organizations.

These ten remarkable young people will visit the United States for an intensive program, April 13–May 5, specially tailored to explore leadership practices in the non-profit, government, and private sectors, and to broaden their networks of resources and support. The exchange program provides skills and training to set awardees on paths for increased collaboration on global issues affecting youth, particularly those involved in combating extremism, empowering voices, and building peace.

They will travel to cities across the United States to participate in professional meetings and engage with their American counterparts. They will visit Roanoke-Blacksburg, Austin, and Chicago. The young leaders will reconvene in Washington, D.C. to share project plans and examine ways they can collaborate and build on their experiences.

The Emerging Young Leaders exchange program will continue in their home communities with mentoring and support through a virtual exchange. Upon their return home, the awardees will be eligible to apply for individual grants to support their work.

Asha Hassan – Somalia

Asha Hassan is an ethnic Somali dedicated to working with youth. She has developed youth-led units spearheading dialogue and reconciliation among ethnic clans in her home region of Kenya. One of her passions is to mobilize Somali girls to be change agents in their communities, teaching children the value of life and warning them against joining extremist groups. She has used innovative means to reach her audience and warn youth about the dangers of being used to cause conflict in the community. – See more at:

Ahlem Nasraoui – Tunisia

Ahlem Nasraoui works to empower women and youth in Tunisia through entrepreneurship. She has managed several hackathons, boot-camps and startups for young leaders to support the democratic transition in her home country. Ahlem started a Peace Mediators program to confront terrorism and extremism, coaching youngsters in leadership, arts and mediation. In recognition of her efforts, Brightest Young Minds in South Africa selected Ahlem as one the 100 most Influential African Leaders. She initiated several startup training events for women and designed a project that trained youth to be peer-to-peer agents of change. Ahlem has also spoken at various in TedX events in Tunisia. – See more at:

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