The Eisenhower Fellowships’ inaugural Africa Program will commence on October 3 in Philadelphia, organisers said in a statement.
The seven-week long program will see participants, who were selected from different walks of life across Africa, “engage in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with the leading minds in their fields” while on different expeditions across the United States.
The 2016 fellows were selected from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe, from a pool of more than 800 applicants from all around the continent, the institution said in a statement.
Amongst the participants this year are Jude Ilo (Nigeria), Victoria Marwa Heilman (Tanzania), Salim Mohamed (Kenya) and Leonard Mungarulire (Rwanda).
Mr. Ilo, the Nigerian representative for the Open Society Initiative for West Africa, is one of the five Nigerians who made it this year.
He supports public education and media campaigns on human rights, natural resources management and freedom of information.
By building partnerships with local and regional groups that promote inclusive, democratic governance, transparency and accountability, and active citizenship, Mr. Ilo helps advocate for a robust civil society that holds political institutions accountable.
One of his major accomplishments has been the Civil Society Election Situation Room, a hybrid form of election observation that engages with key stakeholders in real time to address challenges arising from elections – without waiting until after the elections to fix the problem. This initiative contributed significantly to the success of the 2011 elections in Nigeria, and has been replicated across several African countries.
Mr. Ilo will use his fellowship to delve deeper into how citizens’ voices can be amplified to protect democracy and overcome corrupting influences in the electoral process.
The Africa Program is envisioned as the catalyst for a concerted five-year effort to engage EF’s global network and ignite change more deeply in Africa.
The full list of the 2016 fellows are as follows:
Ayodeji Adewunmi – Nigeria
Mieza Mea Alleah – Ghana
Shivon Byamukama – Rwanda
Lindelwa Farisani – South Africa
Miatta Gbanya – Liberia
Victoria Heilman – Tanzania
Jude Ilo – Nigeria
Brian Kirungi – Rwanda
Salim Mohamed – Kenya
Fatima Mohammed – Nigeria
Sabasaba Moshingi – Tanzania
Nuru Mugambi – Kenya
Edward Mungai – Kenya
Leonard Mungarulire – Rwanda
Sibu Myeni – South Africa
Tonee Ndungu – Kenya
Barbra Nyangairi – Zimbabwe
Olusegun Olukoya – Nigeria
Okomboli Ongonga – Kenya
Yawa Hansen Quao – Ghana
Musa Salmanu – Nigeria
Lesego Sennelo – South Africa
Teddy Totimeh – Ghana
Maria Tsehai – Tanzania
James Wanjohi – South Africa.