Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 18:45 CMR
– Ladies and Gentlemen in your ranks, grades and capacities,
– Distinguished guests ;
– Dear participants in the YALI program ;
Mbote Na Bino (hello everyone)
Zoe and I are pleased to welcome you at our home this evening as we celebrate the five young Congolese who will be representing the Congo this year for the Mandela Washington Fellowship program in the United States. If you have not yet had the opportunity to greet them- they are Edith, Tizi, Coretta, Etienne, and Garcia. The YALI exchange program will bring the participants to the United States this summer for six weeks to study at different American colleges and universities, and to a symposium in the United States where they can meet each other and create new networks. It is a fantastic, prestigious program and we are proud that wonderful Congolese will be part of it. Let’s give them a round of applause. (Applause)
Of course, we have many exchange programs at the Embassy here Brazzaville. Alumni from our YALI program. International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), Fulbright, and ILEA alumni are also here tonight. We are thrilled to see you all here tonight and hope that you will share wisdom and get together with our newest participants. Our people-to-people exchanges are one of the best ways for us to forge connections between our two countries and strengthen our mutual understanding. The Congo and the United States are strong partners on so many issues, including protecting and preserving the environment and combatting climate change, and maintaining regional security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Participants in U.S. government exchange programs can share expertise, learn new information, and forge life-long friendships. At the same time, you can share the Congolese culture with Americans. I know our five participants will be great Ambassadors for Congo in the United States
It is in this spirit of collaboration, and of celebration, that I welcome you here tonight. I hope that you will take the time to meet someone new, talk with old friends, and remember the connections that we are forging between our two countries. Please join me in raising a glass to our five 2023 YALI.