On a usual evening as I had been half watching tv and browsing some medical blogs, I noticed an advertisement on a DSTV Indian Bouquet for the Washington Fellowship/Young African Leaders Initiative by President Obama and administrated by IREX. At first I wasn’t sure what the ad was about as I was half watching. But then later that evening, during the prime time news on another channel, the full ad was shown again. My father who had been watching the same news raved that I must apply.

This initiative by the US President is a very heart warming one. With a full sponsorship by the US government and the willingness to invest in Africa and it’s youth is very encouraging

Of course, in between a busy work schedule I had to secure time to read up a bit more about the opportunity and the requirements. Essentially, a good African citizen, who believed that they can provide leadership in Africa in the sectors of Public Management, Civic services and business and entrepreneurship; between the ages of 25-35 years;and willing to travel to the US if selected. I was excited as the opportunity would allow the successful candidates to study in special programmes in the US as well as become a part of a continent wide alumni network, who can then further provide leadership and mentorship to others.

It took me four days to prepare my application and secure recent letters of support and submit it within five hours of the applications closing on 27 January 2014. The tedious process of being able to summaries the profile requirements and then submit the 3 x 250 word essays, were challenging and enriching.

After submission, I began checking up on the other related applicants who had made known in the likes of Facebook and twitter that they had indeed applied. It is amazing what a mix of applicants there are and their each unique varied backgrounds.

Now the applicants patiently await the feedback within the next two month from their respective embassies.