Mandela Fellows from left to right: Gloria Busingye, Rhoda King, Ian Tarimo.

University Of Georgia Hosts 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship

The University of Georgia was selected as an Institute Partner for the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.  Beginning in mid-June, UGA hosted 25 of Africa’s emerging Civic Engagement leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. 

The Mandela Washington Fellowship empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement.  Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 3,700 young leaders from 49 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaborations with U.S. professionals. The visitors were a part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States.

Abu Kamara of Sierra Leone meeting with Dr. Tudor Vlad, director of the Cox International Center.

“UGA has developed considerable expertise in both civic engagement and international development practice,” said Brian Watkins, Director of International Initiatives at the UGA Office of Global Engagement and Administrative Director for the institute. “The Civic Engagement Institute at UGA represents a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on this expertise and to expose UGA students and faculty to the diverse experiences of leaders from across Africa.”

On their second day here in Athens, the guests had the opportunity to meet with 25 UGA faculty and local leaders, and later to select some of them as mentors and continue their dialog in a one-to-one format.

Eight of the Fellows selected Dr. Tudor Vlad, director of the James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research, as a mentor and visited the Center to discuss future collaboration. They were: Benedito Catumbela of Angola, Ziadath Achimi of Benin, Salim Youssouf of Comoros, Christine Roba of Kenya, Rhoda King of Liberia, Gloria Busingye of Rwanda, Abu Kamara of Sierra Leone, and Ian Tarimo of Tanzania.

The Cox Center is the international outreach unit of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“Having you, the Mandela Washington Fellows, here on campus has been an extraordinary event and a great honor,” said Dr. Vlad during the closing reception. “You have accomplished so much under difficult circumstances and facing challenges or dangers that we here can hardly imagine. I’ve learned so much from your perseverance and optimism and I hope I have been able to give you something back.”