Twelve dynamic and experienced young Rwandans departed Kigali on Tuesday to attend the fifth Young African Leadership Initiative Mandela Washington Fellowship.
They will join 700 other young African leaders for a six- week program, and will be hosted by 12 prestigious U.S. universities, followed by a conference in Washington, DC.
The 12 Rwandan recipients were selected from over 600 Rwandan applicants and represent an extraordinary group of leaders already making important contributions in entrepreneurship, public administration, and civil society in their communities.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.
The Fellowship will provide outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to hone their talents at a U.S. higher education institution with support for continued professional development after they return home.
Institutes focus on leadership and skills development in one of three tracks: Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, or Public Management.
In the past decades since the inauguration of the Mandela Washington Fellowship and the larger YALI program have become a model for exchanges in Southeast Asia, the Americas, and in Europe.
There is the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) and the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI).
Since the inaugural of Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Washington Fellowship last held in 2014, 66 Rwandans have been awarded to attend the prestigious Fellowship.
This year YALI recipients include, Friday James who will be hosted by Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey and Yvette Ishimwe will join him at the same University.
Jennifer Batamuliza will be at Arizona State University; N Gloria Busingye at University of Georgia; Aimee Dushime will be at Georgia State University; Jean Claude Habineza will join Kansas State University; Alice Mukahirwa will be at Boise State University.
Others are Vincent Nahayo will attend Virginia Tech – Alexandria; Belle Ange Niyonshuti will go at the University of Nebraska ; Alexandre Nshimiyimana will be at Clark Atlanta University; Jean Pierre Sibomana will join the University of Iowa and Blandine Umuziranenge who will be at Drake University.