Nigerians who participated in the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship in the US to work to explore how they can enhance their community service and impact on Nigeria.
The United States Consul General Claire Pierangelo gave the charge during a reunion conference in honour of the participants in Lagos. She explained that the programme is of great significance in the sense that the Fellows get acquinted with US modus operandi in the specific areas they are working on and can develop their own goals when they return home.
Fifty-six Nigerians were among the 700 young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa who recently completed a six-week intensive academic and leadership program at some of the most prestigious US colleges and universities.
Pierangelo said: ”One of the most important things the Fellows do when they are in the US is that they are able to interact face to face with Americans, with the institutions, and see for themselves how the American political system works, how the economic system works or how Americans think about Africa.
“It’s a face to face relationship, it goes beyond the news headlines, beyond the politics. They have personal relationship and understanding of how American’s think, how American’s operate and how we think about Africa and how we work with Africa. This is the most important things they learn from the fellowship and our hope is that they are coming back with something that benefit Nigerians at home”.
The envoy asked the Fellows to compare notes on their fellowship experiences and explore how they can enhance their community service and impact in Nigeria. “I encourage you to continue to work to improve your communities, to mentor young people, to be politically active, and thereby strive to create a Nigeria that will truly be the giant of Africa.”
The Mandela Washington Fellowship began in 2014 and the U.S. government has sent nearly 4,000 young Africans leaders to the U.S. to empower them through academic course work, leadership training, and networking opportunities.