On Wednesday, May 15, 2019, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan hosted a reception in honor of the 2019 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) cohort. In attendance were Ghanaian alumni from YALI and other U.S. Government exchange programs from previous years.
Since the inception of the Fellowship, the U.S. Government has committed significant resources to enhancing leadership skills, bolstering entrepreneurship, and connecting young leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa. This year, the U.S. Embassy in Ghana selected 32 Ghanaians, through a rigorous competitive process. They comprise leaders from business, the public sector, and non-governmental organizations.
In her remarks, Ambassador Sullivan extoled the virtues of the MWF program, saying, “These exchange programs not only provide professional skills and networking opportunities, they also form friendships and bonds between our two countries.” She added, “This goodwill leads to sustained relationships with tangible outcomes that contribute positively to Ghana’s development.”
A total of 700 African leaders between the ages of 25-35 will participate in the Fellowship and hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution with support for further professional development after they return to their home countries. The Fellowship focuses on leadership and skills development in one of three tracks: Business, Public Management, or Civic Engagement
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of YALI. Launched in 2010, YALI seeks to invest in the next generation of African leaders to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The initiative contains three programs – the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the YALI Regional Leadership Center Program, and the on-line platform YALI Network.