Dartmouth to Host Young African Leaders in July

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The Dickey Center is planning leadership activities for Mandela Washington Fellows.

Some of the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows at Dartmouth
Some of the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows gathered outside the Dickey Center in July of that year. (Photo by Lars Blackmore)

Dartmouth will welcome 25 young African leaders this summer for a two-week leadership and professional training program sponsored by the U.S. State Department. This marks the return of a global initiative to bring leaders from Africa to Dartmouth since the last cohort visited campus in the summer of 2018.

Dartmouth is one of eight educational institutions across the country that will host the Alumni Enrichment Institutes in July for the 200 visiting alumni of the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship program. It gives them an opportunity to travel to the United States to collaborate with American counterparts and continue building on the professional and leadership skills that they developed during their virtual leadership training last year.

The Institutes are a follow-on initiative of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, which was created in 2010. It provides young business, cultural, and civic leaders from sub-Saharan African with an opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university and receive continued support for professional development after they return home. YALI supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding will once again run Dartmouth’s program this summer.

We are delighted and honored to host this cohort of young leaders from across Africa, as we build on Dartmouth’s terrific relationships from years of hosting the YALI program, says Victoria K. Holt, the Norman E. McCulloch Jr. Director of the Dickey Center.

Since the Mandela Washington Fellowship was established in 2014, the Dickey Center has hosted 125 leaders and innovators from 38 countries across Africa.

“We look forward to deepening connections across continents through interactions spurred between the young leaders, the Dartmouth community, and partners in the Upper Valley,” says Holt.

The Dickey Center is working with partners across campus and the community to plan activities for the visiting African leaders.

They will include summer academic courses and leadership sessions on campus; community service opportunities at nonprofit organizations across the Upper Valley in collaboration with the Center for Social Impact; team building activities, including outdoor excursions to Mount Moosilauke and the Connecticut River, through a partnership with the Outdoor Programs Office; and engaging in cultural exchange, strategic networking, and site visits.

Prior to their arrival at Dartmouth, participants will spend time in Washington, D.C., and meet with nongovernmental organizations, private companies, and federal agencies with an interest in Africa, to develop a mutual understanding.

The Alumni Enrichment Institutes are funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, a nonprofit that fosters global development and education.

Amy Olson