The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is an initiative of the President of the United States of America under the Young Africans Leader’s Initiative (YALI). This year’s event brought together 1000 dynamic young African leaders from 49 African countries across the continent to the United States for 6 weeks of leadership training and mentoring at twenty U.S. universities and colleges in three areas: business and entrepreneurship, civic engagement and public administration.
The programme was conducted as a merit-based open intense competition in which Nkechi Okwuone a Staff of the Information and Communications Technology Agency Edo State, emerged one of many few who were admitted and successfully participated in the 2016 fellowship.
She was hosted by the Arizona state university under the school of Public Affairs where she was trained on public management. As part of the training, there were practical sites visits to key Projects state departments including but not limited to the Department of Economic and security, Homeland security, Department of Administration, Central Arizona Projects, the San Luis border and a major visit to the City council and County Governments.
She highlighted that one of the remarkable activity she had to do was a hands-on simulation of a City government where she role played the Economic Development Director. This was their style of knitting young leaders from Africa with the government system that works in the United States is geared towards equipping young minds with the required tools to change our perception of government and how government works in Africa, to lead rightly in their various fields of endeavors, also to encourage SME.
The program was wrapped up with a three day summit in Washington DC and interactions with Senators and the President of the United States; Barack Obama who in his words said “Worry less about what you want to be but more about what you want to do.
The Managing Director, Permanent Secretary and other directors of the Information Communication Agency Edo State Government gave a rousing welcome to miss Nkechi, Celebrating her as a Champion of the Agency at the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2016 and charged her to integrate her acquired skills with her work and transfer of knowledge to Staff and communities she interacts with. Miss Nkechi thanked the Agency for the vote of confidence given to her and showed readiness to iterate acquired skills in her Job.