Eight Sierra Leoneans selected for the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 July 2021:

Launched in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies the U.S. commitment to invest 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 4,400 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and with the health, safety, and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State is planning a virtual Fellowship for 2021.  While remaining in their home countries, Fellows are participating in virtual Leadership Institutes between June 21 and July 30, which will include leadership training, mentoring, and professional development.

U.S. Embassy Freetown is proud to announce that the following leaders will participate in the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship: Abubakarr Kikin Shequ Kun Daoh, Ibrahim Barrie, Josephine Kamara, Lois Simche Lebbie, Mariatu Kabba, Phebean Mesi-Musu Judith Jan Swill, Seinya Amie Bakarr, Tamba Sangbah.

United States Ambassador David Reimer stated, “These remarkable young leaders represent some of the very best Africa, and Sierra Leone, has to offer.  They are talented, educated, and passionate about the future of their country.  I wish them the very best as they take part in this prestigious program.”

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 can participate in Alumni Programming after their Fellowships to further build their professional skills and networks.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.  For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org.

Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)


  1. And when you hear the loud sounds of African drums and the loud anklets of women dancing in the darkest night around campfires glowing with light…Will you still remember the man,the hero and legend Nelson Madiba Mandela? And when the Old men begin to clear their throats and share sweet palm wine and kola nuts as the bright stars watch the campfire raging on, in loving memory of an African warrior will you whisper the name to your little ones – Nelson Madiba Mandela? And when the full new moon appears on a dark night and the campfires are still raging on,and the women are still dancing with noisy bead anklets on their feet and the old men are still awake drinking sweet Palm wine who is it among you millions that will not whisper quietly into the listening ears of their intoxicated lovers,May God Bless Madiba our Father forever. Congratulations to all of you my brothers and sisters for your outstanding leadership efforts.(lol)

  2. This in wonderful news indeed. Heartfelt congratulations to all eight new Mandela Washington Fellows. You have done yourselves, your families and country proud. Wishing you all an enjoyable, enriching and very productive time as you scale new heights in your young lives.

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