09 Oct 2016 08:50am
KEETMANSHOOP, 09 October 2016 The Namibia United States Alumni Association (Nusaa) on Saturday held an outreach here to promote the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship and to assist with applications into the programme.
The fellowship is the flagship programme of President Barack Obamas Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali) meant to empower young leaders through six weeks of leadership training in the United States of America.
Twenty Namibians took part in the 2016 programme and 30 are expected to qualify for 2017, Nusaa member Ngamane Karuaihe-Upi told Nampa.
The programme is open to young professionals between 25 and 35 years of age, while provision is made for the acceptance of exceptional candidates younger than 25.
Around 15 hopeful candidates turned up for the information session on Saturday.
Sakaria Amanyanda, 22, a field marketer and merchandiser, said his aim was to start applying this year until he is selected.
I have a while to go before I am 35 and I decided to start early because I really want to be a part of this, he said.
Yali alumni Paskaline Ngunaihe, who went to New Jersey in 2014, told the applicants that it would be great to have a participant who is originally from the south of Namibia in next years programme.
There has not been a fellow from the South since the programme started in 2014. There was one professional from Keetmanshoop previously, but that person only worked here and was from another region, she said.
Ngunaihe, who is a co-founder of Her Liberty Namibia, a young women-led non-profit organisation aimed at empowering, developing and promoting womens gender equality in Namibia, followed a civic leadership programme at Rutgers University which she described as invaluable.
Nusaas Karuaihe-Upi, Ngunaihe, Anara Zhakupova and Wilfred April guided the applicants during a workshop to help them submit a strong application.
The workshops are also conducted elsewhere in the country.
Online applications are available on the Yali website and applications close on 26 October.