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Group photo of participants in the Mandela Washington Fellows Program with Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks (Dept. of State)
Group photo of participants in the Mandela Washington Fellows Program with Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks (Dept. of State)

May 20 and 21, the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan organized the pre-departure orientation and a reception for the twelve 2015 participants in the Mandela Washington Fellows Program (part of the Young African Leadership Initiative or YALI) from Côte d’Ivoire.

This year’s Fellows represent a broad cross-section of the dynamic youth in the private and public sectors, and were selected for this prestigious exchange program for their strong English skills, professional success, and commitment to the development of Côte d’Ivoire.

They are headed to a variety of institutions of higher learning in the United States ranging from the University of Minnesota to Dartmouth College, and two of the Fellows will participate in professional internships following the academic programs.

The YALI Program is one of the most prestigious State Department exchange programs and is considered a hallmark of U.S. Africa policy and a major achievement of the Obama Administration.