On May 25, 2016, the U.S. Embassy Abidjan organized a full day pre-departure orientation for sixteen participants in the Mandela Washington Fellows Program this year. The 15 Ivoirian Fellows were joined by a Fellow from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ambassador McCulley addressed this year’s cohort and stressed the importance that the U.S. places on the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Public Affairs Officer Russell Brooks conveyed the Embassy’s desire to establish and maintain a continuing relationship with the Fellows. Other Embassy staff described grant opportunities for the Fellows, promoted the new Tier One Space in Abidjan, or offered insights about American culture.
Following the long but productive orientation, U.S. Embassy hosted a reception in honor of the 2016 cohort. The invitees included the families of the Fellows, MWF alumni, and Embassy staff. It proved to be a very productive day that served to reinforce one of the U.S. Government’s signature exchange programs and illustrate the Mission’s commitment to strengthening the Ivoirian democracy.