Focusing on the importance of having a substantive conversation about girls’ education in Africa Wednesday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama (pictured) spoke with an audience of 500 participants in President Barack Obama‘s Mandela Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) summit before meeting with a select group during a roundtable.
Wearing a green and white dress, Mrs. Obama entered the Regency Ballroom to a standing ovation, after youth leader John Ilima of Uganda introduced her with a message that pushed the issue of girls’ education to the fore.
Just before picking up from where Ilima left off, the First Lady praised the attending group, saying, “Many of you are barely half my age, yet you have already founded businesses and NGOs. You’ve served as leaders in your government. You’ve earned countless degrees. You know dozens of languages, so you all represent the talent, energy, and diversity that is Africa’s life blood, and it is an honor to host you here.”
From the outset, the First Lady set the stage on the predicament of millions of girls around the world, “One of the issues I care deeply about is girls’ education, and across the globe, the statistics on this issue is heartbreaking.