The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to
Nigeria on Friday announced the opening of applications from qualified young Nigerians for the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship programme.
The Embassy in Abuja said the Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship programme of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, and a key part of the U.S. commitment to invest in the future of Africa.
The embassy said Nigerian youth are encouraged to pursue the opportunity offered by the programme to access a six-week training course at a top U.S. university in one of three tracks: Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership or Public Management.
“Eligible candidates should be between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application and have a demonstrated track record of leadership in a public, private, or civic organization, and a commitment to contributing their skills and talents to build and serve their communities,” the embassy said.
It directed interested candidates to either visit http://www.yali.state.gov to apply and seek further information, or the Information Resource Center at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, U.S. Consulate General in Lagos or one of the 11 American Corners in Nigeria.
Deadline for application was given as October 26.
Nearly one in three Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and around 60 per cent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is part of the President’s overall effort to invest in the education and training of the continent’s next generation of leaders.
In 2010, President Obama launched YALI as a vehicle to support an emerging generation of African leaders.
In 2014, the program was expanded to include 500 young African leaders from sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2016, 1,000 young Africans participated in the Fellowship.
Since its inception, 186 young Nigerians have participated in the fellowship, and over 45,000 young professionals in Nigeria have joined the YALI network.
In 2016, 100 young Nigerians participated in the fellowship.