U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Steven Koutsis hosted a reception at his residence to celebrate the 12 Mandela Washington Fellows from Guinea. Accompanied by Guinean Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana and Minister of Youth Aissatou Baldé, the Chargé celebrated the achievements of the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship cohort and led the presentation of certificates of participation.
Chargé Koutsis, Prime Minister Fofana and Youth Minister Baldé congratulated the Fellows on successfully completing the Fellowship during the COVID-19 pandemic. While reiterating the United States’ steadfast commitment to investing in the future of young Africans, he commended each of the fellows for navigating the challenges brought by COVID-19 with perseverance and excellence. “Young leaders like you can create a more prosperous Guinea for future generations. With so much uncertainty due to the pandemic and an onslaught of global challenges, this is your time to seize the initiative…More than ever this is your moment, your generation’s world to shape through your leadership,” said Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Steven Koutsis.
Prime Minister Ibrahima Kassory Fofana was delighted to take part in the reception. He thanked the United States for investing in the leadership of young Guineans since 2014 through the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders Initiatives.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the State Department’s flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiatives (YALI). The Fellowship seeks to empower young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. In Guinea, this program has impacted the lives of 67 youth who continue to create positive change in their communities.
All twelve fellows expressed their gratitude toward the U.S. government and spoke highly of the freshly developed skills they acquired during this 6-week exchange program. While engaging with the U.S. Embassy staff and other USG-sponsored exchange program alumni, the fellows promised to play a tremendous role in creating a more prosperous future for Guinea.