They come from all across Africa.

 

For six weeks, Tech is hosting 25 young African leaders as part of the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship.

"It's an opportunity for us to get together as young African leaders and see and identify better ways of collaborating and working on projects that can add values to our countries," Nature Mogotsi, a Mandela Washington Fellow from Botswana, said.

It is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, created by the Obama Administration in 2010. It aims to empower these students through academic coursework and networking opportunities.

"It's an initiative across the continent of Africa, run by the State Department," Darren Hudson, Texas Tech professor, said. "They're very, very high quality, very motivated young leaders."

They are young leaders in several areas of service, such as health care and public management. Their hope is to gain knowledge to take back home.

"Texas Tech has a strong focus on healthcare, particularly with things like telemedicine, which are not so big in Africa," Azola Mzekandaba, Mandela Washington Fellow from South Africa, said. "The key things is to learn from people here who have been doing this for a longer time."

Eunice Peter, a Mandela Washington Fellow from Kenya with experience in promoting accountability and good governance, said the fellowship will help her build her leadership capacity.

"I hope to extend an advance the roles that I have already back in my country," Peter said.

The fellows will volunteer and network with local partners, like City Bank and the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce.

"All of it is an engagement process to help the fellows see how we do things in terms of public management in the United States and lessons that they can take home," Hudson said.

Following the six-week stay at Tech, the fellows will convene in Washington D.C. to network with U.S. Leaders and participate in further professional development.