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US mission Nigeria announces Mandela Washington Fellows

The Fellows, and the deputy head of mission of the US Embassy Kathleen FitzGibbon

The U.S. Mission in Nigeria has selected 56 recipients for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for 2022.  

The Mission has also selected 16 alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellows cohort from 2021 to participate in this year’s Alumni Enrichment Institute

At a reception in honour of the Fellows, in Abuja, the deputy head of mission of the US Embassy Kathleen FitzGibbon urged them to use their time in the United States to learn and interact with their host communities. 

The programme launched by the Obama administration was aimed at supporting young African leaders aspiring for growth and prosperity by strengthening democratic governance and enhancing peace and security across Africa. 

In 2014, the program was expanded to include Mandela Washington Fellowship, for young Africans between the ages of 25 and 35.

This year, 72 young Nigerians who have demonstrated the capacity to make a positive impact in their societies through projects and programmes were selected out of the many that applied.

Speaking at the reception, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Nigeria. Kathleen FitzGibbon, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of Nigerians who had participated in the fellowship and charge them to take advantage of the opportunity while in the united states, with the hope of making a difference in their communities.

The Counselor for Public Affairs, US Embassy, Abuja, Mr. Adnan Siddiqi, said the fellowship which serves as a tool for social interaction was part of the United States government’s approach to uniting young people around the world.

Some of the Fellows Zainab Bala a journalist, Obi Colins, an energy specialist, and Olaoluwa Balogun, a social entrepreneur expressed gratitude to the United States government for the opportunity and promised to use the skills and exposure acquired to impact on the Nigerian society. 

During the fellowship, participants would engage in six weeks of in-depth academic and leadership training at top American universities and colleges across three sectors including business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership/engagement, and public management. 

Reporting by Hamza Alkali, editing by Daniel Adejo.