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32 Awarded Ghana Mandela Washington Fellowship scholarship

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
Ms Stephanie S. Sullivan (seated 4th right)  with the 2019 Mandela Washington fellows after the farewell party
Ms Stephanie S. Sullivan (seated 4th right) with the 2019 Mandela Washington fellows after the farewell party

The United States (US) Embassy in Ghana has presented the 2019 Ghana Mandela Washington Fellowship scholarship to 32 Ghanaians who were successful in a selection exercise.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a flagship programme of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) initiated by the US government to resource young leaders in Africa to acquire skills in leadership and entrepreneurship.        

The awardees were among many Ghanaians from diverse sectors across the country who applied for the programme and were taken through competitive and rigorous application and interview sessions.

The beneficiaries will join their colleagues from other countries to embark on a six-week intensive academic and leadership training programme in the US to improve on their capacities.

Youth empowerment

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At the awards presentation ceremony in Accra last Wednesday, the US Ambassador to Ghana, Mrs Stephanie S. Sullivan, said empowering the youth was at the heart of US –Africa partnership.

According to her, the US had partnered local governments, civil societies and citizens of many countries to advance mutuality and also reinforce democratic goals.        

She emphasised that in all their work at the embassy, youth empowerment had always been critical in their scheme of operations.

Mrs Sullivan said the programme would not only provide the awardees with professional skills and networking opportunities, but also offer them the opportunity to build friendships and cement bonds with others.

“This goodwill leads to sustained relationships with tangible outcomes that contribute positively to Ghana’s development,” she added.

Alumni

The Ambassador further stated that on their return from the US, the beneficiaries were going to join over 200 Ghanaian Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni to become part of the association called US-Ghana Alumni Association.

She said currently, there were over 3,000 alumni who were leaders in government, academia, business and civil societies across the world.

Mrs Sullivan cited the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye; the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, and the Chief Justice, Ms Sophia Akuffo, as some of the alumni of the initiative.

She congratulated the awardees and encouraged them to also take advantage of the programme to empower themselves to enable them to contribute to the development of the country.

Appreciation

On behalf of his colleagues, Mr Opoku Ware Agyemang-Prempeh expressed appreciation to the US Embassy for the opportunity given them.

He gave an assurance that they would focus on the programme to ensure that Ghana also benefited from the knowledge they would acquire.