NAIROBI, KENYA: Forty-four young people from Kenya and South Sudan have won coveted scholarships to study in different universities and colleges in the United States.
They applied for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Out of these, 42 are Kenyan students and graduates with exemplary track records of leadership and community engagement.
Meeting the fellows before their departure scheduled in June, outgoing US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec urged the 2018 cohort to be good ambassadors of their own states while in the US.
This year’s cohort has selected 700 youths out of 3,500 applicants from Sub-Saharan Africa who will take part in a six-week training in Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, or Public Management in the US.
They will return home after the six-week training where they will access professional development opportunities, mentoring, networking and training, and support for their ideas and businesses from the US embassies and their partners.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.
YALI is threefold, encompassing Regional Leadership Centers, the YALI Network and the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Kenyan students last month graduated at a function that was held at the Kenyatta University based YALI regional centre. This was the 23rd group of students to graduate in the programme that was launched by former US President Barack Obama when he came to Kenya in 2015.
Applications for the 2018 fellowship ran between September and October last year and were open to youth between the ages of 25 and 35.