Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship programme of President Barack Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). #MWF2016 will make it the third year in a row that the programme has impacted hundreds of young people in Africa. Selected fellows will be able spend some few months in the United States on the bills of The United States Department of States.
In the past years, the fellowship selected 500 promising young people yearly. Now, considering the number of emerging leaders in the big continent - Africa, President Obama announced 1000 fellows will emerge in 2016. Good news, right?
Do you want a guarantee that this is not a waste of your time? Why should you apply? If this bothers you, then be sure Barack Obama wants you. YES! Whatever interesting thing you are doing in your local community that is worth your time is your ticket to meet Barack Obama next summer.
Sincerely, earlier this year, I was very pessimistic about the program. I applied last year and I didn't make it beyond the semi-finals. Let's say I lost the ginger along the way.
Then I met Adepeju Jayieoba, founder of Mother's Delivery Kits Ventures. She was a 2014 MWF Fellow. Then I met Adewale Olakunle Joel - a very good fine artist. I also met the CEO of Sesewa, Adekunbi Adeoye. Met both of them in Washington, DC and I was inspired to give it another shot.
I think you should also apply. It promises to be great - an opportunity to have a presidential privilege in the United States of America. You would have access to training, mentors, networks, funds; just everything you need to make a great leader of world standard.
In a nutshell, the only access you won't have is to the launch codes to the nuclear weapons of the United States. I'm sure you don't even need that, do you?
Application just opened today and I know it's not just a coincidence that it falls on the independence day of the largest black nation in the world - Nigeria.
As I am saying Happy Independence day to you in Nigeria, I'm imploring you to take time to check the application page.
If you have any questions, I will be more than willing to point out where to go for help.