60 Local Youths Set For Mandela Washington Fellowship

Staff Reporter

Harare, March 25, 2016 – SIXTY Zimbabwean youth leaders are set to visit the United states of America this June for a for a six-week leadership training course sponsored by the White House.

The course also covers academic coursework and mentoring.

In the US, the group will be among 1 000 youths invited to participate in President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for Young African Leaders.

The participants, according to the United States embassy in Harare, were chosen through a highly competitive application process with more than 1 600 candidates who submitted applications for selection for the program.

The final list has 31 males and 29 females.

Of the group, 19 participants are resident outside Harare, and three are young leaders with disabilities.

“President Obama’s Young African Leadership Initiative is a part of the commitment of the United States to invest in the future of Africa,” said the US embassy in a statement on Thursday.

“The White House created this initiative out of the recognition of the critical and increasing role that young Africans play in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security on the continent.”
    
The Zimbabwean contingent will be among a group travelling from across Africa for a program designed to hone the skills they need to serve their communities.

Each Fellow will be placed at a US university to concentrate in one of three tracks: business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management. Fellows will also have opportunities to meet with US government, civic, and business leaders.
    
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders started in 2014.

Since then, 60 Zimbabwean young leaders from diverse sectors, including business, civil society and the media, have participated in the program.

Upon returning to Zimbabwe, the Fellows continue to build the skills they developed during their time in the United States through support from the Embassy; the Regional Leadership Center in South Africa, and the YALI Network.

 

Through these experiences, Mandela Washington Fellows have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentoring, networking and training, and competitive seed funding to support their ideas, businesses, and organizations.