Selcted Gambians with US Ambassador to The Gambia

The United States Embassy in Banjul announces the selection of eight young Gambians to participate in the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders in The United States. The Fellows are: Fatou Juka Darboe, Fatoumata Binta Jallow , Menggeh Lowe, Marang Sanyang, Fanta Secka , Mariama Jammeh, Karim Y. Darboe, and Mariama Coneh.

These inspiring professionals will be among 700 young leaders selected from across Africa to participate in this year’s program. They were selected from over 400 Gambians who applied for this year’s fellowship. The criteria for selection included community service, leadership, and contributions to the country’s progress.

Launched in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies the U.S. commitment to investing in the future of Africa. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, nearly 5,100 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Twenty-seven U.S. educational institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia will host Leadership Institutes for the Mandela Washington Fellows. The Institutes hosted by college and university campuses across the United States will support the development of Fellows’ leadership skills through academic study, workshops, mentoring, networking with U.S. leaders, and collaboration with members of the local community.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in a virtual summit. Additionally, up to 100 competitively selected Fellows will virtually engage in professional development with U.S. organizations in the public, private, or non-profit sector. Fellows will participate in alumni programming after their Fellowships to further build their professional skills and networks.

A Pre-Departure Orientation Ceremony was held for the Eight Gambian Fellows presided over by Ambassador Sharon Cromer. Ambassador Cromer congratulated them for their achievements in advancing the country’s development agenda through their respective professions. She called on them to remain steadfast as ambassadors of The Gambia while in the United States, and to implement lessons learnt upon their return from the United States.

Similarly, two 2021 Mandela Fellows from The Gambia have also been selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Enrichment Institute. Burama Dampha and Samba Jaiteh will travel to the United States to collaborate with U.S. counterparts, and their fellow young African leaders to continue building the professional and leadership skills they developed during their virtual 2021 Leadership Institutes.

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