25 young leaders from African complete FIU program
Published: Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 7:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 7:39 p.m.
MIAMI — Twenty Five young African leaders have completed six weeks of training at Florida International University under an exchange program created by Obama administration in 2010.
The group students are among 500 young men and women from throughout sub-Saharan Africa who received the fellowships. FIU was the only Florida school to host the students. The fellows, who received leadership training, included public health care workers, agriculture specialists and human rights activists among others. The program seeks to train the future generation of African political and social leaders. And participants were set to meet with each other and President Barack Obama in Washington this weekend.
Clark-Atlanta, Yale and Rutgers and Tulane universities were also among the 20 institutions hosting the scholars participating in the Washington Fellowship of the Young African Leaders Initiative.
Fellow Kwezi Kondile, 26, of South Africa works with a youth-led nonprofit that promotes democracy and social cohesion. He said many youths in his post-apartheid state are apathetic, and he wants to change that.
Harriet Yayra Adzofu is a psychiatric nurse in Ghana. She is trying to reduce the stigma those who acknowledge mental illness face in her country. She said hopes to start an NGO when she returns.
Meanwhile, Danbala Garba, 32, a Nigerian human rights advocate, said his studies have reinvigorated his desire to fight on behalf of those seeking justice in Nigeria.
According to the U.S. State Department, 60 percent of people on the African continent are under 35, so the administration is looking to provide training to those who will one day take the reins of their country.
Eric Ngondi, 29, lost his vision three years ago in an accident. Now the water and environmental engineer educates people in his community about living with disabilities.