- The 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship program has invited 101 young Nigerians
- The fellowship is the flagship programme of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)
- They will be joining 899 colleagues from 48 other sub-Saharan countries for the priogramme
It is amazing to note that a whooping 101 young Nigerians have been invited by the U.S. Mission to Nigeria to participate in the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship program.
They will be joining 899 others from 48 other sub-Saharan countries for the fellowship program in the United States.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship programme of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, a key part of the U.S. commitment to invest in the future of Africa.
During the programme, 40 US universities will host 1,000 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa and train them on public management, business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, and for the second year, a specialized institute on energy.
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The US Counselor for Public Affairs, Aruna Amirthanayagam while speaking at the Orientation Agenda in Abuja on Tuesday, May 9, said numerous Nigerians applied for the fellowship.
He said: “More than 22,000 Nigerians applied to participate in the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship program.
"After the review by our partner NGO, after a reading by members of the Mission Nigeria community, after an interview in either Abuja, Lagos, Jos, Kaduna, Benin, Port Harcourt, or Calabar, you’re here.
"And your experience in the United States begins in just 39 days,” while speaking to the selected ones.
He also said they will be on the campuses of 40 universities, colleges, and institutions across the United States, from the University of San Diego in California to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and many places in between.
According to Premium Times a participant, Chioma Okereke, an analyst for FBNQuest, described the program as a huge opportunity and a great responsibility, saying:
"Its a huge honor and responsibility placed on me. It reminds that there is so much that is needed to be done.
“Someone is taking me there for free and is expecting me to come out and make a huge impact in the society. My greatest fear is that we don’t have the capacity to be as developed as we want in Africa.
“Africa is the youngest continent in the world. In Nigeria, 60 per cent of our population are youth and most of these youth are unskilled. Most employers feel the youth are not qualified enough to be employed.
“So you see that opportunities are very scarce to develop oneself. If our youth are not prepared and they make up the population of the nation that means we are not getting there.
"For me this network is a great opportunity for capacity building, it reminds of the work I need to do for the people around my network. The program will groom me as a leader. the selection process was very fair. I thank God am among.
“Nobody recommended me, I went there with passion and I was able to pass across my message.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Mahmood Yakubu, on Wednesday, May 10, expressed his gratitude to the U.S. government for its commendation of the 2015 polls.
Yakubu said this while receiving the new United States Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington at INEC headquarters in Abuja.
He said the Commission is committed to making future elections in the country better than the 2015 exercise.
Meanwhile, President Buhari is currently in the UK and Nigerians are not happy about it. See why in the NAIJ.com video below: