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56 young Nigerians to attend 2019 Mandela Fellowship



The U.S. Mission to Nigeria says 56 young Nigerians will participate in the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) programme for six weeks from June 17 to Aug 1.

The U.S. Embassy, which stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja explained that the Mandela Washington Fellowship was the flagship programme of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

The mission said that the programme consists of academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

“Five out of the 56 fellows will remain in the U.S. for an additional six weeks to participate in a professional development experience at selected companies and organisations.

“Through this initiative, 28 U.S. universities will host 700 young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa for institutes focused on public management, business and entrepreneurship, and civic leadership.

“The Nigerian contingent represent the largest contingent from any one country,” it said.

It said that the U.S. Embassy invited three leading Nigerian professionals to mentor the fellows, who shared their unique perspectives on leadership and opportunity.

The professionals, it said included Senior Special Advisor to the President on Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, Daniel Ikuenobe,  a 2016 alumnus and founder of Girl Child Africa, Bukola Shonibare.

It also included 2014 MWF alumnus and founder of Havenhill Synergy Ltd. Segun Odunaiya.

It quoted the U.S. Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs, Mr Aruna Amirthanayagam, as saying that “more than 11,000 Nigerians applied to participate in the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship programme.

“After the review by our partner NGO and members of the Mission Nigeria community, followed by an interview in either Abuja, Lagos, or Ibadan, 56 young Nigerians were selected,” he said.