Young African leaders serenade Obama day before his birthday

(NVO) – Young African leaders serenaded U.S. President Barack Obama on his birthday Monday (August 3), at an event for the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Mandela Washington Fellowship Presidential Summit in Washington, D.C.

After the rendition of “Happy Birthday”, Obama praised the growing African economy and answered questions from the group of 500 leaders on a wide range of issues from climate change, reforms at the United Nations Security Council and the growth of extremist groups on the continent.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship began in 2014 and is the flagship of the first African-American president’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), according to the U.S. State Department. The program is aimed at empowering young people through a variety of training and networking to hone their skills, and bring that knowledge back to Africa in order to impact change in their native countries.