IESC Hosts Fellow from President Obama’s Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

14-Aug-2014 Categories: Press Releases
Ilda Guambe is a Mandela Washington Fellow at IESC. She is pictured here in Washington, DC
Ilda Guambe, a Mandela Washington Fellow from Mozambique, will spend eight weeks at IESC as an intern.

International Executive Service Corps (IESC) is hosting Ilda Suzana Massuanganhe Guambe of Mozambique through the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program in August and September 2014.

The Washington Fellowship is the new flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

For the first time this summer, the fellowship brought 500 young African professionals, ages 25-35, to the U.S. for academic study, leadership training, and a presidential summit in Washington. One hundred of these fellows were selected to complete eight-week follow-on internships. The fellows are a very diverse group and represent some of the brightest young leaders in the 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the nearly 50,000 applications, only 500 were selected to participate this year.

Guambe, who is from the Mozambique capital of Maputo, is one of nine children and the first girl in her family to attend college or university. She holds a bachelor’s degree in administration and management from Africa University in Zimbabwe and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in business and entrepreneurship from São Tomás, a private university in Mozambique. She currently works in the Finnish Embassy in Mozambique as an executive secretary and occupational health and safety coordinator.

Guambe was attracted to the diversity of IESC’s economic development activities across sectors. “IESC provides a wide range of technical assistance, and a lot of their work has been done in African countries,” she said. “Learning their strategies will help me with my long-term goal, which is to start my own NGO for rural girls’ education.”

“At last week’s Africa Summit, President Obama emphasized economic investment in Africa, but that cannot be separated from investment in its people. IESC is committed to cultivating Africa’s future leaders, like Ilda” said Jeanah Lacey, program manager at IESC and Guambe’s supervisor during her internship.

IESC is a private nonprofit organization that promotes economic growth around the world by supporting private enterprises, business organizations and public institutions. Since 1964, IESC has completed 25,000 assignments in 130 countries.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. government and supported in its implementation by IREX, an international NGO with more than 45 years’ experience delivering exceptional education and training programs. To learn more about the Washington Fellowship, please visit’s-mandela-washington-fellowship-for-young-african-leaders-.aspx