13 May 2016 – Thabiso Mamba, Investment Manager at the Sincephetelo Motor Vehicle Accidents Fund (SMVAF) has been chosen as one of the 1000 African leaders across the continent that will participate in the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) 2016 Mandela-Washington Fellowship program.
Mamba, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Statistics and Economics as well as an Honours Degree in Economics from Rhodes University, will travel to the United States of America for a six week attachment in the field of Business Entrepreneurship at the Clark Atlanta University in Georgia.
The Fellowship will then be concluded with a Presidential Summit, in which all the young African Leaders will get to meet President Barack Obama and take part in networking and panel discussions with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Thabiso says that he is grateful for this opportunity being presented to him as it is consistent with his vision which is “When people talk about Africa rising, what they really mean is that Africans are rising.”
He adds that “the opportunity to meet with fellow Africans and discuss African issues albeit the host being the U.S is an extremely inviting proposition that I could not miss out on.”
Upon completion of the fellowship, Mamba says that he is positive that as a collective, they can take the continent into a new age of prosperity and is extremely excited to meet the man (Obama) who has shared renewed courage and will with his “Yes We Can” slogan and further awarded Africans with such opportunities such as these.
Because he will be away from the office for close to two months, Mamba says that he is indebted to his employer for the positive reaction and support he has received.
“The SMVAF has taken huge strides as a company to develop and to continuously improve our well-being as employees. I am of course grateful to the leadership of the SMVAF for allowing me to explore and grow as a person and I am undoubtedly confident that the skills that I will acquire in the U.S will also benefit the employer. I am keen to demonstrate this on my return,” he says.
In closing, Thabiso says that he is confident that he will be able to positively contribute to his employer and country considering the hands on experience he will gain from the program, due to the invaluable opportunity to share knowledge with giant corporations such as Coca-Cola, UPS, IBM, Ernest & Young, Georgia Power Southern Company and the Atlanta Metro Chamber of Commerce just to name a few.
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. In 2016, the Fellowship will provide 1,000 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.
More information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship can be obtained at: https://yali.state.gov/washington-fellowship/