United States Embassy in Mali
No: 2023 – 04 EN Bamako, Mali, May 19, 2023
U.S. Embassy Bamako is proud to announce that seven participants from Mali have been selected to participate in the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
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 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 5,800 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Twenty-eight U.S. educational institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia will host Leadership Institutes for approximately 700 Mandela Washington Fellows. The six-week 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.
U.S. Embassy Bamako is proud to announce that the following leaders will participate in the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship:
- Messaoud Ould Braïka, from Timbuktu will do his fellowship in the Leadership in Public Management track at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Mr. Braïka leads a non-governmental organization working on the consolidation of peace and national reconciliation in Mali.
- Koundé Cissé will study the Leadership Business track at University of Texas at Austin. Cissé is a young entrepreneur specializing in catering. Starting a fast-food restaurant called Koundé Vision in 2021, she now aims to expand her business across Mali by 2040, specifically opening her own delivery service chain to make food access easy for everyone, while also hiring youth and women to reduce youth unemployment.
- Diakaridia Doumbia (Diack) will study the Leadership Business track at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Doumbia is the senior project manager at Impact Hub Bamako focusing on capacity building for youth. He also serves as a coordinator for multiple development projects.
- Fatoumata Koita will be pursuing the Leadership in Civic Engagement track at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Koita is a green entrepreneur dedicated to environmental sustainability and youth empowerment in Mali. As president of the “Mali Propre” association, she is a driving force behind the waste management movement, creating a cleaner, greener Mali.
- Moussa Hubert Ouologuem will conduct his program in the Leadership Business track at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Mr. Ouologuem is a seasoned business and project management professional currently serving as the CEO of Groupe Xpertpro, where he focuses in providing companies with training and business support services. He is also the founder of Expert’Labs, a startup incubator that has trained around 1000 entrepreneurs.
- Dramane Souare will do his program at the University of Georgia in Athens under the Leadership in Civic Engagement track. Souare is a television host/anchor and communicator, with years of experience promoting English on TV and hosting debates on education and youth-related issues. In 2022, Souare was recognized as one of the most influential young people in the promotion of the English language, citizenship actions, and democracy in Mali.
- Tariba Traore will be under the Leadership in Civic Engagement track at Florida Gulf Coast University. She is an experienced social entrepreneur fully involved in the promotion of English language and the rights of girls and young women as the president of Mali English Clubs Council.
On May 11, to congratulate and honor these seven laureates, U.S. Ambassador Rachna Korhonen hosted a reception at her residence. The Ambassador, representatives of the Malian government, and former participants in the program congratulated the seven leaders and wished them a productive program. Ambassador Korhonen reiterated the Embassy’s commitment to invest, train, build capacity, and expand the networks of young Malians who will play a major role in good governance, a greener economy, a vibrant civil society, and a stable and prosperous Mali. She also encouraged them to represent Mali in the United States as ambassadors. “I expect you to return and be leaders in Mali, in Africa and in the world,” she said.
After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Summit Washington, D.C. 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.