Womens empowerment, alive and well

Author: Marie-Anne Assanvo N'Guessan


From left to right: Lungile Mzizi (Swaziland), Nawsheen Ahmine (Mauritius), Rania Mohammed (Ethiopia), Adrienne Rabemanantsoa (Madagascar), Haoua Sawadogo (Burkina Faso), Nadege Legma (Burkina Faso), Reena Pandya (Tanzania), Marie-Anne Assanvo N'Guessan (Cote d’Ivoire),  Esther Sola (DRC), Tânia Tomé (Mozambique), Sarah Kabiseni (Zimbabwe), Edinha Lima (Sao Tome and Principe), Nadine Maalum (Nigeria), Khadijetou Abed (Mauritania)

Guest post by Marie-Anne Assanvo N'Guessan, 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow from Cote d'Ivoire

The Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) is a prestigious program for which over 40,000 young Africans applied throughout Africa for only 1,000 seats for this year in 2016. It kicked off on June 16th, 2016. Several young African gathered in the most prestigious universities of the USA for six weeks of training and experiences sharing among African fellows and with their American counterparts.

I don’t have the exact number of young women within the entire program but for sure women have been given a large podium at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. There are 14 women out of 25 fellows in total. Please, let’s give a round of applause for the gender diversity in this program!

Women empowerment is a vibrant issue across the globe, where several initiatives are undergone to enable women to play their full role in the concert of nations, bringing their strengths in making the world a better place to live. The U.S. Department of State, by accommodating this number of women, demonstrates its involvement in this battle and its commitment to help Africa move forward with better experienced business women. By providing the Mandela Washington Fellows with very talented and sharing, kind lecturers, Notre Dame is showing the way in the empowerment of young African women within this program.

Thank you for this opportunity and I promise we’ll make you proud. It’s just the beginning!