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U.S. seeks African solution to address global problems



Will Stevens US

The Consult General of the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Will Stevens, has said that African solutions are needed to address global problems which include climate change, food insecurity, and poor leadership, among others.

Stevens stated this at the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) Reunion Conference organized by the consulate for fellows who recently completed their programmes at various institutions in the U.S.

He charged the fellows to work together to solve global problems, noting that the MWF as well as other exchange programmes focused on building connections that would last.

The U.S. relationship with the continent:

According to him, the mission hopes that fellows bring back research, business, and media ties back into Nigeria, so it leads to investment and partnership.

  • “This is an incredible time to be part of the U.S. relationship with the continent and with Nigeria in particular because I think about the second half of the 21st century as the African century.
  • “This relationship right now is so strong, but it’s built on relationships between people, partnerships between our companies, universities, and civil society actors.
  • “But we need to start working together even more because the problems that we face are global in nature,” he said.

Stevens noted that the fellows were the network and the future, adding that he had incredible faith in them.

  • “I have incredible faith in the dynamism that Nigeria produces in all sectors, and I have yet to see the Nigerian faced with a problem that they don’t think they can overcome.’’

He noted that Nigeria had an average age of 19 and explained that youths were engaged by connecting and helping them to relate with their peers in the U.S. while identifying areas they could work together.

Speaking with newsmen, Dr. Rabi Sufi, one of the fellows noted that the programme was very valuable to her, considering the work she does in the health sector.

Sufi, who was posted to Wayne State University in Michigan, said she gained both academic and leadership skills, and how to build advocacy.

  • “I did a lot of community awareness programmes in the community, and I was able to get more knowledge on how to deal with leaders in such communities while increasing the impact of my work,” she said.

Mandela Washington Fellowship: MWF, the flagship programme of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) was established in 2014 to empower young African leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa between the ages of 25 and 35.

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