US Embassy in Ghana holds orientation for 2021 Mandela Washington Fellows

2021 Mandela Washington Fellows with officials from the US Embassy in Accra
2021 Mandela Washington Fellows with officials from the US Embassy in Accra

Thirty-two young Ghanaians selected for the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship have been taken through a two-day pre-fellowship orientation to equip them with some leadership skills ahead of the main program in June 2021.

The 32 Ghanaians selected  comprise of young leaders from the business, public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations and social entrepreneurs across Ghana.

They were to spend six weeks in the United States of America participating in professional development training in leaderships in civic engagement, business, and public management at some of America’s top universities but now have to resort to a virtual program due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The two-day pre-fellowship orientation held in Takoradi in Ghana’s Western Region, was organized by the Embassy of the United States of America in Accra in partnership with the Mandela Washington Fellowship Association of Ghana.

The orientation was  to help the fellows get to know each other and create great bonds for future partnerships irrespective of the main program being virtual.

The insightful and fun filled pre-fellowship orientation saw the young leaders taken through leadership skills and the power of teamwork, goal setting, self-discipline, power of relationships and compliments with all COVID-19 protocols well observed.

Country Director for Emerging Public Leaders of Ghana, Moses Cofie who took the young leaders through the training, urged them to ensure they have well-defined goals and get members of their teams in their respective fields of work to understand the strategies set to achieve goals and targets.

The interesting and practical sessions at the orientation, provided an opportunity for the Ghanaian young leaders to know each other, work as teams and foster better networks for future endeavors.

Speaking at the event, Elizabeth Ategou, the Cultural Attaché at the Public Affairs section of the US Embassy in Accra admonished the young fellows to take full advantage of the opportunity given them to build better relations with other finalists from other countries to advance their individual courses and projects for the growth and development of Ghana and Africa as a whole.

A teamwork and fun session where fellows had to create clothes out of papers.

The Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy, Ginny Elliott assured of maximum support from the US government to ensure the young African leaders give back to society after the six weeks fellowship program.

As part of activities for the two-day program, the young leaders participated in an aerobics session to keep fit and maintain healthy bodies ahead of the training.

For the Ghanaian fellows to know each other better, bond well and build a great network, a dinner and party were organized with great music to entertain everyone.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni including the President of the Ghana-US Alumni Association, Dr Hilda Boye, listed the opportunities one could get being part of the alumni network, stressing on the need for young African leaders to make an impact in society with whatever training they receive from the fellowship.

President of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Association of Ghana, Dr Joel Duah Afi, reiterated the need to foster good relations and the building of networks and teams to address challenges faced by various societies in Ghana.

The 32 young Ghanaians were selected from thousands of applicants who applied for the flagship programme of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) of the United States.

The programme is the brainchild of former US President, Barack Obama to nurture a generation of African leaders to push for economic growth, improve democracies and strengthen civil society structures that will make the continent a better place. 

Source: Daily Mail GH

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