June 16, 2016 By Ahmed Sahid Nasralla (De Monk)
Radio Democracy 98.1 FM Station Manager, Asmaa James, is among twelve (12) Sierra Leoneans who will participate in this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African leaders in the United States of America, and will join 1,000 other young leaders from across Africa.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship programme of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Launched in 2010, YALI supports young African leaders gain skills and connections that accelerate their career trajectories and strengthen democratic institutions, spur economic growth, and enhance peace and security across Africa.
Asmaa’s six week academic and leadership training will focus on civic leadership and public management.
“I can’t wait to share ideas, gain new ones and connect with other leaders,” said Asmaa with excitement at the prospect of improving her capacity as a young woman leader.
US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, John Hoover said: “I am proud you (Asmaa) have been chosen to participate in this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, a signatory legacy of President Obama in his bid to strengthen ties with between United States and Africa.”
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (inaugurated in 2014), brings young leaders to the United States for academic coursework and leadership training and creates unique opportunities in Africa for Fellows to put new skills to practical use in leading organisations, communities, and countries.
The goals of the Fellowship are to invest in a new generation of young African leaders who are shaping the continent’s future; respond to the strong demand by young African leaders for practical skills that can help them take their work to the next level in the fields of public service and business; deepen partnerships and connections between the United States and Africa; and build a prestigious network of young African leaders who are at the forefront of change and innovation in their respective sectors.
“I want to specifically thank President Obama for giving me this unique opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming an influential power woman and leader,” said Asmaa, who has demonstrated immense leadership skills in her five years as Station Manager of Radio Democracy.
The group is expected to depart for the US on Friday 17th June 2016 for the Summer Fellowship.