On July 8, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies hosted 32 Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Washington Mandela Fellows at the National Defense University for a one-day simulation exercise focused on resolving some of Africa’s most pressing security issues.
Each of the 14 women and 11 men was assigned to the national council of one of three fictional African countries seeking to address a worsening regional political, security, and humanitarian crisis. Their deliberations and recommendations on the simulated scenario focused on the need to involve various stakeholders, manage diverse interests, consider short- and medium-term responses, and promote cooperation between and within nations. The exercise highlighted the interaction between the political, military, economic, and social causes of insecurity. It also examined sources of solutions and encouraged participants to consider African security from sectoral, national, and regional perspectives. The complex security challenges encouraged the fellows to think critically and apply their knowledge and experience to generate solutions.
The fellows—representing 17 African countries—are being hosted by Rutgers University during their six-week stay in the United States. The National Defense University’s Center for Applied Strategic Learning assisted in developing the simulation. The Africa Center has hosted the YALI fellows each year since 2015.