A graduate intern at the Abuja Office of the Institute Ms Olufunto Akinterinwa was on March 23, 2016, selected as one of the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows and will therefore be representing Nigeria.
The daughter of Professor and Mrs. Bola A. Akinterinwa, Olufunto had her secondary school education at Queens College, Yaba, Lagos. She read Law at the University of Abuja and also attended the Nigerian Law School for the professional qualification, Barrister at Law. She is the Author of a novel, Stranded on Foreign Soil (Ibadan - Bolytag International Publishers, 2011, 113 pp.) She also authored Activities of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora under the Chairmanship of Honorable Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which was introduced in 2014 to empower young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The fellowship provides outstanding young leaders with the opportunity to hone their skills at top 20 U.S. universities, and support their professional development after they return home.
For the 2016 fellowship program, there were up to 40,000 applications across Africa. After multiple rounds of review in Africa and U.S, the Washington D.C review Panel selected 1000 Africans to represent Africa. After the academic program, the fellows will travel to Washington D.C to participate in a three-day Summit hosted by president Obama. During the Summit, they will have the opportunity to interact with U.S leaders, and upon completion of the program, their fellowship continues in Africa where they will have access to ongoing professional development, networking, and a variety of possible funding sources.
Upon return, Olufunto Akinterinwa plans to mentor women and young girls through the platform of creative writing and sports, where they can write together as a team to publish best-selling novels and produce award-winning movies for young girls. She also intends to develop the skills she will acquire during the coursework to help move the Country forward as one of Nigeria’s representatives.
The Director General on behalf of the NIALS family salutes her competitive spirit and wishes her God’s Speed as a YALI fellow and Nigeria’s ambassador to the world.