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Politics & Government

A conversation with young African leaders at UD for Mandela Washington Fellowship - Part 1

Univ. of Delaware

This summer, 25 young African leaders have been attending a summer institute on Civic Leadership at the University of Delaware, part of the U.S. State Department program called the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The fellows are from various African countries, specializing in different areas - including media, law and healthcare. A few Mandela fellows recently sat down with Delaware Public Media reporter Megan Pauly to discuss their work, issues they’re working to address in their home countries and topics like media censorship and accessibility . Vicensia Alfred Fuko is a lawyer, media expert and activist in Tanzania, Brighton Mukupa Kaoma is an environmentalist and youth empowerment expert in Zambia, and Tineyi Mukwewa is a human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe.

Here’s their conversation:

We’ll hear from more fellows next week on The Green.

Here's the bios of the participants in this week's roundtable:

Vicensia Alfred Fuko, from Tanzania, is a lawyer, media expert and activist with eight years of experience advocating for access to information, freedom of expression and media independence in Tanzania. Presently, Vicensia is a Senior Program Officer at the Fellowships and Strategic Partnership Projects Program at Tanzania Media Foundation (TMF). The TMF is a funding and learning organization which strives to promote media independence and accountability in Tanzania. Vicensia has designed and is managing Tanzania’s first state-of-the- art media lab providing space and support for young journalists to learn skills on investigative journalism, public interest, data and online journalism. Vicensia holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) degree in Intellectual Property Law from Stockholm University and a Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) degree from the University of Dar es Salaam. Upon the completion of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Vicensia plans to continue managing the media lab and fellowships and strategic partnership projects for the promotion of freedom of expression, access to information and media independence in Tanzania.

Brighton Mukupa Kaoma, from Zambia, is an environmentalist and youth empowerment expert with a rich track record of facilitating profound change processes in many African and European countries. He co-established Agents of Change Zambia, a non-profit supported by the Children’s Radio Foundation and uses radio to create opportunities for youth-led, issue-based dialogue, participation, creativity, leadership and active citizenship in communities across Zambia. He’s guided by a vision of young people across Africa shaping their own futures and strengthening themselves, their schools, and their communities. Brighton has worked with UNICEF as a Climate Ambassador and is a Global Youth Ambassador at Children’s Radio Foundation. He is also an alumni of the Cambridge University Institute of Sustainable Leadership. In 2015, he was honored with the Queen’s Young Leader Award by Queen Elizabeth II and, in 2016, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) awarded him with its top accolade, the WWF International President’s Award. Upon his return from the Mandela Washington Fellowship, Brighton plans to continue his work unleashing the potential of youth as opinion sharpers and shakers through radio and leadership training. He looks forward to collaborations with other organizations and individuals that might share his values and inspire his vision.

Tineyi Mukwewa is human rights defender who trained as a lawyer at the University of Zimbabwe. He is currently the Executive Director of the Abammeli Human Rights Lawyers Network, an organization of human rights lawyers that promote and protect marginalized communities.

You can learn more about the other 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows at UD here.