Mandela Washington Fellows depart to USSixteen young Namibian leaders departed for the United States to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship programme this week.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF), launched in 2014, is the flagship programme of former-US President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. Since 2014, nearly 5 100 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship including 117 from Namibia.
These young leaders, aged 25 to 35, have proven accomplishments in promoting innovation and positive change in their organisations, institutions, and communities. As part of their programme, each Mandela Washington Fellow will take part in a six-week academic and leadership institute at a US college or university in one of three tracks: business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, or public management.
Following the academic component of the Fellowship, all the Fellows will converge in Washington, D.C., for a three-day summit. During this event, Fellows take part in networking and panel discussions with prominent U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Select Fellows will remain in the US to participate in an additional six-week professional development experience with US non-governmental organisations, private companies, and governmental agencies related to their professional interests and goals.
Upon returning to Namibia, Fellows will continue to build the skills they have developed during their time in the United States through support from US embassies, Regional Leadership Centres, the YALI Network, and customised programming from affiliated partners.
In addition to the 2022 cohort, four Fellows from the 2021 cohort who participated in their programmes virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic will also visit the US to participate in in-person Alumni Enrichment Institutes.