Some Zimbabwean youth have arrived in the United States for the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program, a flagship program of the U.S. government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).
Since 2014, nearly 5,100 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship. Forty-three Zimbabweans will be in the program this year.
The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries. In 2022, the Fellowship will provide 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university with support for professional development after they return home.
Deputy Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate, Lagos, Jennifer Foltz, stated this at the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association Nigeria, MWFAAN Close/Awards Ceremony for Young African Leaders Initiative, YALI Network members.
According to Foltz, mentorship is something that is very important in the United States and is a critical piece of her exchange program. “With the right mentor to guide the young people to progress through education, career, or business, individuals can grow faster and more efficiently by learning from someone who has already gone down the same path."
“I have seen many young people flourish and accomplish things they did not think possible through strong mentorship,” she said.
Mhlelusizo, who is a professional chef in Zimbabwe, said, “It has always been my dream, to learn, adopt and implement the American way of doing business so I can add value into the Zimbabwe mainstream economy in my own way.”