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U.S. Embassy Selects Fifteen of African's Most Promising Young Leaders for Six-Week Leadership Institute
May 12, 2023

ANTANANARIVO – The U. S. government invests in the next generation of African leaders as they promote economic growth, enhance public trust in good governance and democratic institutions, and strengthen civil society structures that will help Madagascar and the Comoros grow and prosper.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies the U.S. commitment to invest in the future of Africa.  Each year, U.S. embassies across Sub-Saharan Africa select accomplished leaders with established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their countries to participate in this fellowship.

The U.S. Embassy is proud to announce the names of 15 Malagasy and Comorian leaders selected for the 2023 cohort of this prestigious fellowship.  Chosen from a group of more than 400 Malagasy and Comorians applicants, they are among 700 young leaders selected from across Africa to participate in this year’s program.  Selection criteria included community service, leadership, and contributions to their country’s progress.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Ryan Bradeen welcomed the Fellows at a pre-fellowship orientation May 9-10, where they built a strong cohort identity, discussed their expectations of the fellowship, and networked with other Fellows, YALI Alumni/ae, and U.S. Embassy representatives.  Bradeen said, “We are proud of your work promoting entrepreneurship, youth development, empowerment of women and girls, and good governance.  The United States stands with you in pursuing these worthy causes and we are grateful for your determination to make a difference in your community, your country, and our world.”

The Fellowship includes academic coursework, leadership training, and professional networking opportunities. Fellows will participate in leadership institutes hosted by U.S. colleges and universities in 14 U.S. cities June 21 – August 4. During the final week of the program, Fellows will meet with Sub-Saharan YALI counterparts in Washington D.C. and take part in a Leadership Summit featuring top U.S. government officials and private sector leaders.

YALI was created in 2010 to support young Africans as they promote economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, 114 young leaders from Madagascar and Comoros have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

2023 Mandela Washington Fellows for Madagascar 

Diamondra Rafiringa University of Delaware Leadership in Civic Engagement
Miarizaka Randriamananjara Purdue University Leadership in Business
Harindranto Tojo Nirina Razafimaharo Arizona State University Leadership in Public Management
Solofoniaina Henristudio University of Nevada-Reno Leadership in Business
Karine Mahefarisoa University of California – Davis Leadership in Public Management
Jonathan Mickaël Andréas Cornell University Leadership in Public Management
Jose Makavelo Kansas State University Leadership in Civic Engagement
Faniry Andrinjafy Bridgewater State University Leadership in Public Management
Marcellin Tsihoboto University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Leadership in Civic Engagement
Felana Rajaonarivelo Drake University Leadership in Business