The U.S. Embassy in Madagascar and Comoros congratulated 11 young Malagasy leaders for completing a six-week intensive U.S. leadership training known as the Mandela Washington Fellowship in an official ceremony last night.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the U.S. government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). In past years, it has provided accomplished young leaders with the opportunity to study for six weeks at a university in the United States. In 2020, however, COVID- 19 forced the program to change. Those selected for the program had to postpone their Fellowship for a year – only for it to become a virtual program in 2021.
Referencing these challenges, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Amy J. Hyatt said, “Confronted with these changes, you demonstrated perseverance. You displayed resilience, recovering quickly from each challenge. You remained adaptable, embracing the new virtual format and the opportunities that came with it. These are exactly the leadership traits we need right now.”
This year’s Mandela Washington Fellows from Madagascar include: Manamamonjy Alexandre (Civic Engagement track at the University of Delaware); Heriniaina Andriamalala (Public Management track at Georgia State University); Henintsoa Rakotoarison (Public Management at Wayne State University); James Rakotomalala (Business and Entrepreneurship at Clark Atlanta University); Tojosoa Ramarlina (Business and Entrepreneurship at Lehigh University); Lova Randrianasolo (Public Management at Wayne State University); Tsiry Randrianavelo (Civic Engagement at the University of Georgia); Vony Randrianonenana (Civic Engagement at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln); Misa Rasolofoarison (Public Management at Arizona State University); Nadia Ratsimba (Business and Entrepreneurship at University of Notre Dame); and Patricia Razafindrakala (Public Management track at Georgia State University).
Addressing this group during the ceremony, the Vice Minister in charge of Youth and YALI Regional Leadership Center alumnae Tahina Julianna Ratovoson said, “The reason why you’ve been selected for such a program is that you are among the best.”
Minister of Economy and Finance Rindra Hasimbelo Rabarinirinarison and Minister in charge of Fishing and Blue Economy Paubert Tsimanaoraty Mahatante – both alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship – also joined the ceremony to congratulate this year’s Fellows.
Since 2014, more than 75 young Malagasy leaders have been selected for the Mandela Washington Fellowship.