Obama Stunned by Uganda’s Emmanuel Odama Intro at YALI Meeting

Emmanuel Odama Welcomes President Obama to address the Yali town hall meeting

US President Barrack Obama together with scores of young entrepreneurs from across the African continent were last evening thrilled by the remarks of Uganda’s own Emmanuel Odama, sick a young farming entrepreneur and member of the US funded Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

Emmanuel Odama was selected to introduce President Obama to address a YALI town hall meeting in Washington.

President Obama described the Ugandan as a great speaker and a good choice of the introduction.

“I want to thank Emanuel for the great introduction and the outstanding work on behalf of the people of Uganda, ” he said.

Obama said Odama was the right choice for his intro

Obama said Odama was the right choice for his intro

“I don’t know whether they chose Emmanuel because he is such a great speaker which he is, or because they thought that he and I are cousins, because Odama, Obama…there must be some connection,” the President joked.

Started in 2010, YALI has brought hundreds of thousands of young people across the continent together to make their communities, countries, and continent more prosperous and secure.

YALI’s flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

Mr Odama, a seasoned agriculturalist, mentor and pastor brieflty took the youths through his life and works in Uganda which have helped transform the lives of his folks in his home district of Arua.

“One of the hardest decisions I had to make in life after graduating was to either to return to the village and work with the community that sent me to school or to remain in the city and find something to do there,” he said.

Emmanuel Odama has been helping transform the lives of his folks in Arua district

Emmanuel Odama as a trained farmer has been helping transform the lives of his folks in Arua district

“I decided on the former; I decided to go and share my knowledge and skills with the farming community. Years of working with the community have helped improve the livelihoods of my people and this is why now I am called a Mandela-Washington fellow.”

He encouraged the youths at the meeting to take up the mantle to shape the future of the African continent, using the valuable knowledge and skills they acquired.

“There is a unique story that each one of you is scripting by working in your communities. This impact of your story must be able to live longer than your life time. This is our time to take up the challenge, the challenge of being that generation that will offer our continent a better future.

On his part, President Obama as the first US President to visit the Sub Saharan Africa four times said he had much hope in the African continent.

“Even though Africa continues to face a number of challenges, I see the continent on the move. You are one of the world’s fastens growing regions, home to a middle class that is projected to grow to over 1 billion consumers.”


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