Young leaders urged to apply for US visit

US President Barack Obama Picture: KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS
US President Barack Obama
Picture: KEVIN LAMARQUE / REUTERS

An opportunity to broaden your network and advance your skills as well as your business is available for young people who are selected in this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The programme, which is an initiative of outgoing US President Barack Obama, will provide 1 000 people from sub-Saharan Africa with the chance to visit the United States for six weeks while participating in an academic and leadership institute before taking part in a summit with young leaders in Washington DC.

During a visit to Port Elizabeth yesterday, US consul general Teddy Taylor urged young people, aged between25 and 35, to apply for the once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Everyone until now has come to Washington for a session with President Obama.

“We know that the programme will continue, we just cannot say when they come to Washington whether the next president of the US will give his or her time towards the fellows as President Obama did,” he said.

The programme was viable as it provided participants with access to corporate leaders, leading thinkers on various issues and people in senior US government levels, Taylor said.

“The fellows will discuss Africa’s challenges among themselves and how to resolve them,” he said.

This year, the programme would be selecting 60 young leaders from South Africa to join participants from other countries in sub-Saharan Africa to take part in the visit in June and August next year.

He said those interested could apply online, with applications closing on October 26.“For professionals, it is hard to get free time to reflect on issues that matter, to be in an environment where you can talk about issues that are important to you and important to your community.

“We see this as professional development where individuals will look at issues and maybe discover an alternative viewpoint.”

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