U.S. selects 42 Zimbabwean youth leaders for Mandela Washington Fellowship Program

Harare, May 28 2019: The United States has invited 42 young Zimbabweans to participate at this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship program. The Fellowship, which began in 2014, is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, which empowers young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.  The Fellows depart Harare mid-June and will spend six or more weeks in the United States.

Congratulating the participants, Ambassador Brian A. Nichols challenged the fellows to use the experience for the good of Zimbabwe.  “Zimbabwe can only advance through the participation of all its citizens,” said Ambassador Nichols.  “We hope that you will use the knowledge and connections you develop through your programs to work for Zimbabwe’s development.”

The Mandela Washington Fellowship includes a Leadership Institute at a U.S. educational institution, a Summit in Washington, D.C., an optional U.S.-based Professional Development Experience, and alumni activities following the conclusion of the Institutes.  216 Zimbabweans have participated in the youth leadership program since 2014.  This year’s group includes an equal mix of males and females from across the country that will participate in the civic leadership and business and entrepreneurial tracks.

The Zimbabwean fellows will join 660 fellows from across Sub-Saharan Africa who will spend six weeks in 27 educational institutions across 20 States.  At the colleges and universities, the Fellows will develop leadership skills through academic study, workshops, mentoring, networking with U.S. leaders, and collaboration with Americans.  Some Fellows will remain in the United States for an additional four weeks to participate in a professional development experience.

A key goal of the Fellowship is to create unique opportunities for Fellows to apply their new knowledge to practical use in their careers and communities in all sectors of society.  In addition to the knowledge and skills they bring back to Zimbabwe, Fellows enrich their American host communities through public service, cultural exchange, and the lasting ties they create between the United States and Zimbabwe.  Fellows will also participate in alumni programming after they return home to further build their professional skills and networks.  Americans also have the opportunity to apply to travel to Africa and collaborate on projects with Fellows through the Reciprocal Exchange Program.

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