Eisenhower Fellowships announces the selection of 25 visionary African leaders working in government, business and civil society across eight countries as 2016 Africa Program Eisenhower Fellows. These ascendant leaders, comprising Eisenhower Fellowships’ inaugural Africa Program, will embark on a seven-week journey throughout the United States to engage in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with the leading minds in their fields.
“These innovative Fellows are united by their passion to benefit their countries and region by collaborating across disciplines to achieve their vision,” said General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret), chairman of Eisenhower Fellowships (EF). “We welcome them into the Eisenhower Fellowships global network of influential leaders.”
As many African countries undergo seismic transitions, with unprecedented population growth bringing new demands for sustainable economic development, Eisenhower Fellowships will host the first program dedicated exclusively to Sub-Saharan Africa in EF’s 63-year history. The 25 Fellows work in fields ranging from agriculture, education and women’s leadership to banking, climate change, health and housing. They include social entrepreneurs seeking to strengthen the ecosystem for the growth of small and medium-size enterprises in the region.
To be held in the fall of 2016, the Africa Program is envisioned as the catalyst for a concerted five-year effort to engage EF’s global network and ignite change more deeply in Africa. Since its founding, EF has hosted a total of 182 African Fellows, the first one a Ghanaian diplomat, Frederick Arkhurst, in the very first class of Fellows in 1954.
“The 2016 Africa Program Fellows will play a key role in shaping, empowering and connecting the next generation of African leaders who will address the continent’s profound political, economic and social challenges,” said George de Lama, president of EF. “Our objective is to anchor Fellows from this initial Africa program firmly within the global EF network and deepen their engagement across the region.”
The Africa Fellows will launch their program with a week of activities in Philadelphia starting October 2, 2016, then proceed on individual journeys throughout the country visiting approximately 8 to10 cities and towns throughout the U.S. Their fellowship culminates with a series of public events in New York City the week of November 14.
The recruitment and selection of EF’s Africa Program Fellows was supported by the Africa Leadership Steering Committee, headed by Honorary Co-Chairs, Dr. Mohamed « Mo » Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and 2014 recipient of the Eisenhower Medal for Distinguished Leadership and Service, and Jendayi Frazer, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Senior Director of African Affairs at the National Security Council, and the first woman U.S. Ambassador to South Africa. They are joined by a select group of respected leaders and Eisenhower Fellows from Africa and the U.S.
Successful candidates for EF programs are exceptional leaders eager to advance their personal and professional growth, who can articulate how the fellowship will serve them to produce impactful change and who commit to lifelong engagement with the organization and its nearly 1,500 active Fellows around the world. Fellows apply what they learn from their peers and in their meetings with experts in their respective fields to maximize their potential and produce sustained impact through their fellowship experience and collaboration within the EF global network.