The United States Government on Friday announced its selection of 100 Nigerians to participate in this year’s Mandela Fellowship.
The U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria said in a statement that the beneficiaries were selected from among other 10,000 Nigerian applicants and tens of thousands of other applicants from across Africa.
The statement said the applicants, who were selected from across Nigeria, would undergo six-week studies in civic leadership, business and entrepreneurship and public management in various universities in the United States.
According to it, since 2014, 86 Nigerians have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
The U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, in the statement, congratulated the selected Nigerians for scaling through the competitive process.
“Our goal was to select a diverse group, both geographically and socio-economically, representing all that Nigeria has to offer.
“You today represent the best of Nigeria’s youth and the future of the country.
“Your selection says who you are as young leaders and the impact you are having on your communities as entrepreneurs, civic leaders, public servants, and champions of renewable energy,” the statement quoted the envoy as saying.
The Fellowship Programme is the flagship programme of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and a key component of President Barack Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa.
The programme was initiated by the U.S. Government to recognise the increasing roles that young Africans are playing in strengthening democratic institutions, economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.
The Mandela Fellowship is for Young African Leaders. It started in 2014.
It empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.
The Fellows, who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of accomplishments in promoting innovation and positive change in their organisations, institutions, communities and countries.