60 Zim Youth Selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program

2015 Mandela Washington Fellows with Embassy officials
2015 Mandela Washington Fellows with Embassy officials

The United States Embassy is pleased to announce the selection of 60 young Zimbabwean leaders who have been invited to participate in President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship Program for Young African Leaders.

The participants were chosen through a highly competitive application process with more than 1,600 candidates who submitted applications for selection for the program. The list has 31 males and 29 females. 19 participants are resident outside Harare, and three participants 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. 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 Fellows will be among the 1000 Mandela Washington Fellows traveling from across Africa to the United States in mid-June for a six-week program of leadership training, academic coursework, and mentoring. The program is designed to hone the skills they need to serve their communities. Each Fellow will be placed at a U.S. university to concentrate in one of three tracks: business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and public management. Fellows will also have opportunities to meet with U.S. 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.