The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, begun in 2014, is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The Fellowship provides 500 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution with support for professional development after they return home.
We are excited that six of our members were selected, from a competitive pool of 5000 applications from across the world, for the fellowship. The following people have been involved in multiple Barcamps in Ghana. They are worthy young changemakers, doers and entrepreneurs who must be celebrated.
Rasheeda Mandeeya Yehuza is an active member and organizer of the GhanaThink Foundation programs, Barcamp Kumasi and Kumasi Konnect. She is the sponsorship and partnership lead for Kumasi Konnect. She was a mentor at Barcamp Kumasi 2013. She is extremely passionate about technology. Rasheeda currently works as a software engineer at VOTO Mobile, which provides a platform to amplify the voice of the under-heard and under-represented via a mobile phone notification and survey platform. She is also the founder of Nasara Tech Ltd, a technology-focused company that creates solutions to problems identified in local communities, and accordingly can be applied worldwide. Rasheeda co-founded Tech Needs Girls Ghana, an interactive workshop for girls in Ghana. Regina Agyare was inspired at Barcamp Cape Coast 2012 to co-found TechNeedsGirls initiative with Rasheeda. GhanaThink also partnered TechNeedsGirls on their first event in Kumasi.
Alfred Godwin Adjabeng is an active participant at Barcamp Cape Coast events and very supportive in providing logistical assistance during the organisation of the event. He has also been a participant of Barcamp Ho and Barcamp Accra as well. He is also the founder and executive director of Reach Out to Future Leaders Movement (ROFLM). ROFLM is a youth-led community-development based organization that focuses on food security, education and environmental sustainability. He serves as the coordinator of ROFLM’s flagship project, Ghana School Farms Project, which is an initiative that recognizes the link between education and nutrition and employs community-based solutions to improve access.
Hikmat Baba Dua has been a mentor at Barcamp Tamale 2014 and where she shared her experience with participants and answered questions asked by participants. She is the Founder and Executive Director of League of Young Female Leaders; a registered non-profit organization focused on advancing the status of girls and women in Ghana through mentorship and advocacy coupled with a charity module. She works with LitWorld International and Global Girls Rising as Tamale Regional Coordinator for the 10,000 Global Girls Initiative. Hikmat is passionate about Africa, education, women’s/ girls’ empowerment, human rights, social entrepreneurship, good governance and development.
Raindolf Owusu was instrumental in organizing Barcamp Accra 2012 at his university – Methodist University College and was involved in a number of the GhanaThink Foundation’s events. He is also the Founder and CEO of Oasis Websoft as an initiative to use software to solve the daily problems of Africans. He has also developed Anansipedia, an education platform that allows less privileged students to share educational resources; and Bisa, a mobile application that supplies information to the public and gives them access to doctors. Some of his other notable projects include Dr Diabetes, a web application that educates Africans about diabetes.
Evans Owusu Amankwah attended Barcamp Kumasi 2014 where he met and was mentored by Johannes Arthur, a YALI Fellow from 2014. He applied for the Mandela Washington Fellowship program and is now a Fellow. Evans has five years’ professional experience in the teaching profession as a Cambridge English Teacher, and Oxford Teacher’s Club member. He founded Midstream Literary Agency and has been promoting professional English language teaching and learning across Ghana. With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science (with emphasis in English) and 24 CPD certifications from Cambridge and Oxford in ELT, he created the Community Literacy Achievement Program; a project offering 500 extremely weak students in his community out-of-class remediation sessions. He has been volunteering for the Computer Science Department of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in Google’s CS4HS project in Ghana; a project which seeks to encourage computational thinking within teaching. In 2014, he led ‘Effective Use of Everyday English’ group discussion at Barcamp Kumasi. Evans is passionate about improving literacy.
Tsonam Akpeloo has been a participant at Barcamp Ho. Tsonam is CEO and co-founder of Techcom Visions, a leading IT solutions firm in Ghana. Under his leadership, Techcom Visions created Eduboost to build world-class IT facilities for schools in Ghana. He chaired ECOWAS commission’s E-commerce Technical Review committee in Abuja, and he is an executive of Africa 2.0 Ghana chapter and also serves on the Board of Seek To Save Foundation-Ho. He received the Africa’s Young Visionary Entrepreneur Award-2013 by the African Leadership Magazine-UK. He holds a BA in Economics and Political Science and an MA in Economic Policy Management both at the University of Ghana, Legon