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18 Young Batswana Receive YALI Fellowship

Earl Miller
About 18 young Batswana involved in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management have been selected for this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship programme of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

The Mandela Washington Fellowship aims to empower young Africans to support growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. It is geared towards outstanding young leaders who have several years of professional experience and a proven record of accomplishment in leading and promoting positive change in their organisations, institutions and communities. Speaking during a briefing recently, USA Ambassador Earl Miller said the selected participants would be part of a larger delegation of 700 Africans, representing some of the brightest, most ambitious, and dedicated young leaders on the continent. “There were hundreds of applications from Botswana for the 2018 fellowship and only seven in business and entrepreneurship, four in civic leadership and seven in public management have been selected,” he said.

He said the selected Batswana leaders all have a proven record of accomplishment in leading and promoting positive change, not only in their work but also in their communities.

In mid-June, the young leaders will travel to top U.S. universities for a six-week academic and leadership programme. Fellows will then convene

in Washington, D.C. for a three-day Summit where they will interact with senior US government, business, and civic leaders. Upon completion of the programme, participants will have continued opportunities for networking, mentoring, internships, workshops and other avenues for further outreach and community development.

Since its establishment in 2014, this programme has sent 81 Batswana to the USA where they participated in six academic and leadership institutions in one of three areas.

“I am proud of our fellowship alumni who have taken advantage of these opportunities including those who have taken mentorship roles, launched service projects and continued to positively impact their communities,” he said.

The 2017 cohort of fellowship alumni are currently doing with an after-school programme at Naledi Senior Secondary School called Young Achievers Botswana to see real examples of mentorship and servant leadership.

Earlier this month, the alumni led students’ session about recycling and ecosystems then participated together in a litter picking and recycling walk of the school. Previous sessions have included information about health awareness, life skills and how to start a business.




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