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60 Young Nigerians To Participate In The 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme

60 Young Nigerians To Participate In The 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme
  • PublishedMay 11, 2018

United States of America Mission in Nigeria in statement from the U.S Embassy on Thursday in Abuja announced that it will send 60 young Nigerians to participate in the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship programme in the US.

The participants would join other African fellows in the U.S. for the programme which is for six weeks starting from June 18 to August 2.

“The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship programme of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

“It is composed of academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.

“Total of five out of the 60 fellows will remain in the U.S. for an additional six weeks to participate in a professional development experience at select companies and organisations,” it stated.

According to the embassy, through this initiative, 28 U.S. universities will host 700 young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa.

The young leaders would be in various U.S. institutes focused on public management, business and entrepreneurship, and civic leadership.

It stated that Nigeria’s fellows represented the largest cohort from any one country.

It also stated that as part of the orientation, the U.S. Embassy invited three leading Nigerian professionals to participate in a mentoring workshop.

“The professionals include Afolabi Imoukhuede, Senior Special Advisor to the Vice President on Job Creation; Serah Makka-Ugbabe, ONE Campaign Country Director; and Lawrence Afere, 2014 MWF alumnus and founder of Springboard Farms.

“All three of them shared unique perspectives on leadership and opportunity,” it stated.

It noted that Imoukhuede quoted Nelson Mandela in speaking about Nigeria’s importance to the future of Africa.

It added that Makka-Ugbabe remarked that “these are the faces we’ve been waiting for.”

It also quoted Mr Afere who concluded the workshop as explaining how his fellowship experience “gave him wings to fly” with his business success.

It explained that the U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs Mr Aruna Amirthanayagam stated that more than 11,000 Nigerians applied to participate in the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship programme.

“After the review by our partner NGO, after a reading by members of the Mission Nigeria community.

“After an interview in Abuja, Lagos, Ibadan, Akure, Enugu, Port Harcourt, and Calabar, a total of 60 young Nigerians were selected”, he said.

Amirthanayagam further explained that Nigeria had the largest single cohort from any country in Africa.

“This is in recognition of the fact that the U.S.-Nigerian relationship is one of the most important, not only in Africa but in the world, ” he said

It also quoted the Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, David Young, as urging the fellows to be generous with the unique opportunity they had been given.

“The U.S. is making an investment in you through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.

“You will return to Nigeria later this summer with increased capital. Share that wealth with others.

“The Mandela Washington Fellowship and the larger YALI programme embody the U.S. government’s commitment to investing in the future of Africa,” he said

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