U.S. Ambassador Welcomes Fulbright Alumni Back to Mali, Launches Anniversary Celebration

United States Embassy in Mali

Press Statement

Bamako, Mali, February 17, 2021

U.S. Ambassador Welcomes Fulbright Alumni Back to Mali

U.S. Ambassador Dennis Hankins presented certificates to the eight most recent Fulbright Educational Exchange alumni during a ceremony on February 17.  Ambassador Hankins recognized the achievements of Ms. Assanatou Mahamadou, Dr. Kahirou Diakité, Dr. Amadou Hamadoun Dicko, Dr. Mamadou Seriba Doumbia, Mr. Mohamed Modibo Sankare, Mr. Oumar Sanogo, Ms. Bomou Sokhona Sissoko, and Mr. Allahsera Auguste Tapo.

Ambassador Hankins congratulated these Malians on completing one of the world’s most prestigious scholarship programs.  He encouraged them to use their American university experience to enhance mutual understanding between the United States and Mali and make a meaningful difference in their communities. “Your success in the Fulbright program is evidence of talent, motivation, and ability to persevere through challenges.  You are now part of a global network of some of the smartest and most creative people in the world – people we call Fulbrighters,” he remarked. 

The ceremony launched a year-long celebration to mark the 75th anniversary of the Fulbright educational and cultural exchange program globally and the 61st anniversary of the Fulbright program in Mali. Throughout 2021, the U.S. Embassy will host special events and activities to highlight the legacy of the program and its history in Mali.

The United States initiated the Fulbright program in Mali even before independence, an early symbol of the investment in U.S.-Mali educational exchange over the past six decades. Moulaye Yaha, the first Malian to receive a Fulbright scholarship, traveled to the United States in May 1960. Following in his footsteps, hundreds of Malians, from Kayes to Kidal, have participated in Fulbright programs. Nearly one hundred American students, teachers, and scholars have also traveled to Mali under the Fulbright program.  

U.S. Ambassador Welcomes Fulbright Alumni Back to Mali

The impact of the program can be seen in the expertise of the latest graduates of the program.  Among those recognized by Ambassador Hankins:  Ms. Mahamadou studied engineering management; Dr. Diakite researched textile dyes; Dr. Dicko researched sustainable agriculture; Dr. Doumbia studied nutrition and food science; Mr. Sankare earned the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist certificate; Mr. Sanogo studied educational policy and leadership; Ms. Sissoko studied international development administration, and Mr. Tapo did his Master of Science in computer science.  All now have brought their skills back to build a stronger, more globally connected Mali.

The Fulbright program was launched by the U.S. Congress after World War II to increase mutual understanding and support friendly and peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The program operates in 160 countries and has provided over 400,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals from all backgrounds the opportunity to play a role in achieving that vision. Over 75 years, Fulbright alumni have reshaped the world.  They have been leaders of government and industry, winners of Nobel Prizes, professors and mentors to younger generations, scientists and engineers, community activists, and world-renowned artists.  

Fulbright is a globally competitive program. Applicants nominated by the U.S. Embassy must compete for a spot among thousands of applicants worldwide. Applications for the next group of Fulbright awards are open through March 31, 2021.  Anyone interested in applying can visit this link to learn more.