US Embassy announces 2021 Mandela Washington Fellows


Press release

The United States Embassy in The Gambia congratulates seven young Gambians selected for the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.  Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and with the health, safety, and well-being of fellows and partners as the highest priority, the US Department of State will hold this year’s fellowship virtually.  While remaining in their home countries, fellows will participate in virtual leadership institutes, which will include leadership training, mentoring, and professional development.

The 2021 Gambian Fellows are: Burama Dampha, Ida Faal, Samba Jaiteh, Amadou G Jallow, Esther King, Aji Sainey Kah, and Lala Touray. They were selected from over 450 Gambians who applied for this year’s fellowship.


These inspiring professionals will be among 700 young leaders selected from across Africa through a rigorous application process for this year’s programme.  They represent The Gambia’s diverse society and were all chosen for their community service, leadership, and contributions to the country’s progress through various platforms.

On June 10, the fellows participated in a pre-fellowship orientation in Banjul. Ambassador Richard Carl Paschall congratulated the young leaders and expressed his admiration for their solid leadership roles in their communities.

The Young African Leadership Initiative (Mandela Washington Fellowship) was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.  Since 2014, nearly 4,400 young African leaders, including 52 Gambians, have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship.