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Shaping the Future: Young African Leaders’ Reflections from the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit

December 9, 2022

Program Overview

Join us on Wednesday, December 14 at 8:30 AM EDT for a live, interactive program called Shaping the Future – Young African Leaders’ Reflections from the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

During this virtual event, a panel of alumni from the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders and members of the YALI Network will reflect on what they’ve experienced and heard during the first days of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and the African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum.  They will share their takeaways and impressions from the Summit and discuss how they intend to bring the Summit’s shared vision and values home to their communities.

As President Biden hosts leaders from across the African continent in Washington, DC, Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni and YALI Network members will discuss challenges and opportunities such as climate change, education, and economic growth, which will require the active participation of young African leaders at home and abroad.

Visit YALI.state.gov for more information about the YALI Network, Regional Leadership Centers, and the Mandela Washington Fellowship.



Clare Polke, Office of the Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice

Clare Polke is the Public Affairs Officer for the State Department’s first ever Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice. Clare previously served in Zambia, Jamaica, and Egypt. Prior to joining the State Department, Clare worked as a print journalist, first for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette then for Reuters in Washington, D.C. Clare is a proud alumnus of Florida A&M University, a public historically black university in Tallahassee, Florida, and American University’s School of International Service. Clare is proficient in Arabic.







Kwame Owusu Ansah, Mandela Washington Fellow, Ghana

Kwame Owusu Ansah is a tech entrepreneur, TV personality, public speaker, and consultant, who is passionate about leveraging technology to create positive change throughout the African continent, as well as offering young people skills training and opportunities to make a difference across Africa.  He is the Founder and President of Techstripped Africa, a tech influence network and accelerator that helps tech students uncover their leadership potential and build entrepreneurial skills.  In Ghana, he has mentored over 200 students at five public universities and helped establish six early-stage startups.  Kwame is a Deloitte D2i alumnus and holds a B.Sc in Environmental Science from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in addition to certificates in Business Leadership from Dartmouth College and Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management.  Kwame is also a member of the YALI Network. 






Marie Christina Kolo, Mandela Washington Fellow, Madagascar

Marie Christina Kolo has over five years of experience in youth empowerment and NGO project management in France, India, Senegal, China, and Madagascar.  She is a climate activist, social entrepreneur, and founder of the cultural and eco-friendly center Green N Kool.  She is a co-founder of the Indian Ocean Climate Network, a youth network that promotes and encourages youth initiatives regarding climate change in Madagascar, La Reunion and Comoros islands.  Marie is the Technical Advisor on Youth Sustainable Goals and a member of the cabinet of the President of the National Assembly.  She is one of the first Malagasy Youth delegates included in international climate negotiations within the national delegation of Madagascar at COP21.  Christina holds a master’s degree in Humanitarian and Development Project Management from the Catholic University of Paris. Marie is also a graduate of the YALI Regional Leadership Center in South Africa.





Rudo Nomsa Farai Nondo, Mandela Washington Fellow, Zimbabwe

Rudo Nondo has more than nine years of experience in the creative industry.  Currently, Rudo is the country coordinator at Fashion Revolution Zimbabwe, where she advocates for best practices in the fashion industry.  Rudo has led artisan design projects within communities in Zimbabwe and Eswatini.  Rudo holds a Bachelor of Arts (honors) degree in Law with Business Studies and holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship from Goldsmiths, University of London.  Rudo credits the Mandela Washington Fellowship with equipping her with the tools to lead innovation within the creative space in Africa.  Rudo is a member of the YALI Network.



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