US Embassy Announces 2022 Mandela Washington Fellows


The U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana has announced that some 32 Ghanaian youth leaders have been selected as U.S. Department of State 2022 Mandela Washington Fellows.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) initiated by the Obama administration.

In a statement on its official Facebook page, the Embassy indicated that the 32 Ghanaians “…are leaders in their professions and communities and were recruited from a candidate pool of nearly 4,000 Ghanaian applicants through a rigorous, competitive process.”

The selected young Ghanaian leaders for this year’s fellowship program are

Abdulrahim Shaibu-Issah (Kumasi)
Barbara Kumi (Accra)
Christopher Dankwah (Kumasi)
Daniel Adama (Odumase)
Dennis Nyarko (Accra)
Dorothy Azimi Kamasa (Sunyani)
Emmanuel Boahen (Tarkwa)
Ernestina Muulikaa (Accra)
Evans Duah (Kumasi)
Francisca Arko (Accra)
Frieda Abilba (Bolgatanga)
Gina Amedeka (Accra)
Gladys Kyerewo Akenten Gyebi (Tamale)
Haruna Osman (Sefwi Bekwai)
Henrietta Boateng (Atebubu)
Jalil Ali Mahama (Sunyani)
Jonas Bensah (Tamale)
Justina Onumah (Accra)
Kelvin Ashie (Accra)
Kenneth Dam (Tamale)
Kenneth Donkor-Hyiaman (Kumasi)
Kwame Asiemoah (Kpando)
Marilyn Azumah (Kumasi)
Nana Afua Ohene (Tema)
Nathaniel Aboziah (Bukere)
Paa Kofi Ankomah (Accra)
Prince Agyemang (Sunyani)
Priscilla Amenyah Kove (Tarkwa)
Priscilla Okantey (Accra)
Shariphine Agoalikum (Sunyani)
Victor Togborlo (Tafi Atome)
Wisdom Apusiga (Bolgatanga)

U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Nicole Chulick was quoted in the statement saying to the Fellows at their departure orientation in Accra that “Programs like the Young African Leaders Initiative demonstrate the United States’ commitment to empowering African youth. Since its launch YALI in 2010, we’ve committed significant resources to enhance leadership skills, bolster entrepreneurship, and connect young African leaders from across the continent with one another.”

The statement stressed the Fellows will travel to the United States this summer for intensive professional development and leadership training in Washington, D.C. and in various cities across the United States. They comprise leaders from business, the public sector, and non-governmental organizations. Nine Fellows from last year’s cohort, which was conducted virtually, have also been selected to travel to the United States this summer as part of YALI’s Alumni Enrichment Institute.

The statement further noted that “A total of 700 African leaders between the ages of 25-35 will participate in the Fellowship this year. They will have the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution with support for further professional development after they return to their home countries. The Fellowship focuses on leadership and skills development in one of three tracks: Leadership in Business, Leadership in Civic Engagement, or Leadership in Public Management.”

Launched in 2010, YALI seeks to invest in the next generation of African leaders to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Sub-Saharan Africa. The initiative contains three programs – the Mandela Washington Fellowship, four YALI Regional Leadership Centers, and the on-line platform YALI Network.


By Vincent Kubi