16 Malawians Headed to U.S. to Participate in President Obama’s YALI

Lilongwe, April 13 – U.S. Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer and the visiting U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Todd Haskell, today announced that 16 Malawian young leaders have been selected to participate in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in the United States.  Malawi’s contingent in this year’s program has doubled in size, increasing from 8 participants in 2015 to 16 Fellows in 2016.

At a reception held at the Ambassador’s residence in Lilongwe, the 16 new Mandela Washington Fellows were congratulated on their selection and encouraged to take full advantage of the six-week leadership development program they will participate in.  The programs will be held on university campuses across the United States in June-July 2016.   Ambassador Palmer said, “You will join 1,000 young leaders from across Africa working toward positive change in your communities.  This is an incredible opportunity to enhance your professional skills, grow as a leader, and network with other like-minded young leaders from across Africa.”

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Todd Haskell told the newly selected Fellows, “We received nearly 40,000 applications continent-wide for this year’s Fellowship.  You should feel rightly proud of your selection to participate in this prestigious program which is a high priority for President Obama.  The U.S. Government is delighted to play a role in your ongoing development as a leader of your country and continent.”

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), U.S. President Barack Obama’s signature leadership development initiative in Africa, aims to invest in the next generation of African leaders.  Annually the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders takes young African leaders to the U.S. for academic instruction, practical experience, and mentorship in the fields of public management, civic leadership, and business and entrepreneurship.  The Mandela Washington Fellowship began in 2014 with 500 participants each year, and has doubled in size in 2016 to include 1,000 participants.  17 Malawians have previously participated in the program.

For more information on the Mandela Washington Fellowship and other opportunities available through the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) please see:  www.youngafricanleaders.state.gov

Contacts: Edward J. Monster – Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy

Marcus Muhariwa – Information Specialist, U.S. Embassy

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