08/08/2015: Mandela Washington Fellows Pay a Courtesy Call on the Malawi Embassy in Washington DC

Mandela Fellows with Ambassador Mhura in the middle

On August 5, 2015 a group of eight Malawian youth who attended the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Mhura at the embassy in Washington, D.C.

During the meeting the ambassador asked the Mandela Fellows to recount their experience and vision relating to the fellowship.

The fellows took turns informing the ambassador that they were privileged and glad to have been selected as one of this year’s Mandela Washington Fellows from Malawi out of the 800 who had been shortlisted, saying it was a great inspiration to them. They indicated that what they have learned will definitely assist in solving some challenges regarding development in and the performance of the country. Among other things, the group of young leaders assured the ambassador that they will ensure that they will use the expertise and valuable exposure they have had in the U.S. for the greater benefit of Malawians and to encourage fellow youth to do likewise.

Addressing the fellows, Ambassador Mhura said the youth are agents of change in Malawi’s economic development. He hailed the young leaders for their dedication, passion and optimism to revive patriotism amongst Malawi’s youth.

The ambassador commended the youth for being diligent and passionate about bringing a difference in respective communities in such areas and disciplines as ICT, health, arts, entrepreneurship, and human rights. He advised the Mandela Fellows that the government is keen to support the youth in different endeavors and assured them of the government's and the embassy’s support. He also requested that they support government programmes on community colleges, maternal and child health, public sector reforms, increased access to education at all levels, and wide access to ICT, amongst others. The ambassador further advised the group to maintain the team spirit by keeping the group intact, stating that although they studied in different faculties, the common goals (the greater good and welfare of Malawians) are interlinked. He said, for example, the health sector could benefit a great deal from ICT. The ambassador also encouraged the young fellows to make use of the regional and continental networks which they have created during their studies, stating that this would assist the fellows in continuing to learn from their co–fellows from the other countries.

The group was comprised of Andrew Longwe, who attended to Clark Atlanta University doing business and entrepreneurship; Dr. Jane Jere, a medical officer from Mulanje District Hospital, who did public management at Syracuse University; Tadala Thembakako, who attended Wagner College and did civic leadership; Charles Kajoloweka, who studied civic leadership at University of Virginia; Yamikani Chunga, Madalitso Zelda and Chancy Gondwe at Tulane University, who studied civic leadership; and Marshall Dyton, who studied ICT at Notre Dame University in Indiana.