One hundred young Nigerians have been selected for entrepreneurship and leadership training in the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship in the United States (US), according to United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle.
He spoke in Abuja during a reception organised by the U.S. Embassy for the participants who were selected from six geo-political zones in the country and the Federal Capital Territory.
According to the envoy, the participants would participate in an intensive, six-week programme on academic excellence and leadership on business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, public management, and renewable energy at U.S. colleges and universities.
“The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship programme of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and a key component of President Barack Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa.
“YALI is an integral part of President Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa.
“The White House developed this initiative in recognition of the critical and increasing role that young Africans are playing in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa,” he said.
The envoy congratulated the new fellows on their competitive selection amongst 10,000 Nigerian applicants and tens of thousands of others throughout Africa.
“Our goal is to select a diverse group, both geographically and socio-economically, representing all segments of Nigeria.
“You represent the best of Nigeria’s youth and the future of the country.
“Your selection says a lot about who you are as young leaders and the level of impact you are having on your communities as entrepreneurs, civic leaders, public servants, and champions of renewable energy,” he said.
He said that 86 Nigerians have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship since 2014.
He urged the participants to share what they learn with members of their communities upon returns.
“We hope that you will leverage the U.S. and African connections you have established to their maximum potential,” he said. (NAN)