Young African leaders connect with local elected officials during 6-week fellowship

A group of 25 young African leaders was immersed in public management training and Wisconsin culture for six weeks as part of the U.S. Department of State Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The fellows participated in classes on leadership, traveled throughout southern Wisconsin for cultural visits, and volunteered with local nonprofit organizations.

Led by UW–Madison’s African Studies Program, coordinated the fellowship program for leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 from 16 sub-Saharan African countries. The La Follette School of Public Affairs, one of several campus partners, coordinated a state government day on June 25. The fellows met with Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, Sen. La Tonya Johnson, and staff from the Legislative Audit Bureau. They also took a private tour of the State Capitol that included a rare opportunity to sit at legislators’ desks in the Senate chambers.

Two La Follette School alumni, Anthony Carroll (MA ’80) and Darin Harris (MA ’95), facilitated part of the program. Carroll, vice president of Manchester Trade, led a panel discussion on agricultural development and technology in Africa. Harris, internal consultant with the UW-Madison Office of Quality Improvement, taught a weekly leadership workshop on organizational assessment, strategic planning, and conflict management.

“The La Follette School is proud to participate in this outstanding program,” said Director and Professor Susan Yackee. “The fellows’ enthusiasm to spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Sub-Saharan Africa is infectious.”

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