As the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders at University of Delaware comes to a close this week, the 25 fellows in the program representing 19 African nations, and who are due to meet with President Obama and other world leaders in Washington, D.C. next week, the fellows were treated to a sendoff reception and professional networking event in their honor by StartUpAfrica, a Delaware nonprofit organization.
President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) fellows empowers young people through course work, leadership training, networking and support for professional development after they return to their home countries.
The fellows representing nineteen (19) different African countries were joined by local Diaspora-based Africans for an African dinner, conversation and networking. The remarks given by different speakers from both groups were education, challenging and inspiring as speaker after speaker spoke on what the event and coming together for the evening meant to them and the work that they are doing locally or in Africa.
“What an amazing weekend hosting President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative fellows in Delaware, said Sam Mweberi of the Africa Diaspora community in Delaware. We were honored to meet this great generation of leaders and hear their amazing stories on what they are doing to make a difference in their communities.”
Velaphi Mamba, fellow from Swaziland in thanking the organizers said, “We thank you for a wonderful evening and a dinner to remember. We shall continue to serve our people, to speak truth to power, to challenge injustice everywhere, to sow the seeds of freedom for those behind us to reap the fruits. We shall stand with our brothers and sisters in the prisons of Africa and the confinement of American jail cells; the daughters of Africa who are married off at a tender age and the millions of Africans denied an education by corrupt people. We shall stand with the people of Africa in Africa, America, and everywhere else in the world. For, we are one people with an inextricably bound history, a great heritage and a common future! Lest we forget, the beauty of Africa, the Motherland, lies in its peoples.”
“Am still amazed by the way these people have talent. Hopefully our Diaspora people can team up together and we change the culture that is perceived of Africa…Diversity builds a strong team!” observed Linda Ologi, Diaspora participant at the event.
Join StartUpAfrica for our next professional networking event in August and the annual entrepreneurship conference on Saturday, September 27th, 2014.