Mandela Washington Fellows attend program at Maxwell

YALA-logoBeginning June 22, a group of 25 young leaders from countries across Sub-Saharan Africa will gather in Syracuse at the Maxwell School for a six-week program of study.  Participants, known as Mandela Washington Fellows, are part of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) and will take part in daily classes and activities focusing on leadership, public administration, and critical questions of public policy.  Classroom discussions will be supplemented by meetings with city and county leaders, area businesses, and local nonprofit organizations. 

The Fellows studying at Maxwell represent 15 African nations and a wide range of disciplines, including medicine, journalism, veterinarian medicine, energy and development, agriculture, health, and financial management.

The program, begun in 2014, is administered by the U.S. Department of State to enhance leadership skills, spur entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders with one another and with Americans.  Over 500 leaders come to the United States annually for leadership training, academic coursework, and mentoring.  Program participants then put those new skills to practical use to propel economic growth and prosperity and strengthen democratic institutions in their home countries.  Syracuse is one of only 20 universities across the U.S. chosen to host a YALI group.

At the end of their stay in Syracuse, participants will travel to Washington, D.C., for a three-day Presidential Summit.


  • Mr. Abdela Alite, Ethiopia, Head of South Omo Zone Health Department – South Omo Zone Administration
  • Ms. Aurelie Adam Soule, Benin, Telecom Engineer, Head of the Frequencies Management Department – ARCEP Benin
  • Ms. Leticia Asumu Bengo, Equatorial Guinea, Program Specialist – UNDP
  • Ms. Ludo Chube, Botswana, Journalist – Government of Botswana, Department of Information
  • Ms. Jacqueline Daka, Botswana, Environmental Health Technologist – Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child
  • Mr. Bernard Ekuwam, Kenya, Ward Administrator – County Government of Turkana
  • Dr. Jane Jere, Malawi, Medical Officer – Ministry of Health
  • Mr. Serge-Aime-Joachim Kazagui, Central African Republic, Editorial Coordinator – La Paix (daily newspaper)
  • Ms. Angela Kirabo, Uganda, Research Scientist, Food Product Development, Processing and Applications (in charge of quality assurance) – Uganda Industrial Research Institute
  • Mr. Carl Adams Kopati Gbali, Central African Republic, Telecommunication Administrator – Agence de Régulacion des Télécommunications
  • Mr. David Majambere, Burundi, Head of Burundian Network Control Center – Regideso
  • Ms. Elina Massite, Kenya, Forensic Manager – Liberty Africa
  • Ms. Thato Mochone, Lesotho, Media Practitioner – Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology
  • Mr. Emmanuel Mogofe, South Africa, Manager – Provincial Treasury
  • Ms. Jamila Aliyu Mohammed, Nigeria, Assistant Lecturer – Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
  • Ms. Zibuyisile Mthiyane, South Africa, Portfolio Manager – Eskom
  • Mr. Kampamba Mubanga, Zambia, Senior Legal Assistant – Ministry if Local Government and Housing
  • Dr. Chisanga Mwaba, Zambia, District Veterinary Officer – Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, GRZ
  • Mr. Aaron Mwewa, Zambia, Assistant Editor of Parliamentary Publications – National Assembly of Zambia
  • Ms. Norah Ngatjizeko, Namibia, Economist – Ministry of Trade and Industry
  • Mr. Michel Okan, Benin, United Nations Volunteer (UNV), Peacebuilding Fund Program Assistant – UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali
  • Dr. Bobwealth Oakina Omontese, Nigeria, Research Fellow II/Lecturer II – National Animal Production Research Institute
  • Dr. Orapeleng Phuswane, Bostwana, Medical Doctor – Ministry of Health, Department of Clinical Service
  • Mr. Churchill Saoke, Kenya, Tutorial Fellow/Assistant Lecturer – Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
  • Mr. Adalberto Furtado Varela, Cabo Verde, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation – Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

    Note to editors:  Program participants will be available for interviews.  Please contact William Sullivan at 443-5989 or for further information. 06/15/15