4 July 2016

GIP member selected among Ghana’s Mandela Washington Fellows


The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) which was launched in 2010. A total of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows from sub-Saharan African countries will spend six weeks in the United States where forty different American universities will host groups of 25 Fellows each for an intensive academic coursework and leadership training. The high-achieving cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows includes entrepreneurs, public servants, media practitioners and civil society members.

The Young African Leaders Initiative is a key part of President Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa. His administration created this initiative out of the recognition that young Africans are playing a critical and increasing role in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth and enhancing peace and security in Africa.

Selected from nearly 2,000 applicants throughout the country, Benedict Arkhurst is among 41 young leaders who will represent Ghana in the United States. From August 1-3, all 1,000 Fellows will assemble in Washington, D.C., for a Presidential Summit to be convened by President Obama. Upon their return to Ghana, the Fellows will continue to build the skills they have acquired during their time in the United States through support from the U.S. Embassy, the YALI Regional Leadership Center for West Africa, the YALI Network and customized programming from the U.S. Agency for International Development and affiliated partners.

Benedict holds a Bsc. (hons) in Human Settlement Planning from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana and an Msc. in Spatial Planning with Specialization in Sustainable Development from the University College, London. He has over six years’ experience in urban management and spatial and strategic planning of cities with special focus on sustainable development. He has been involved in the preparation of a number of land use and spatial plans across the country and is one of the pioneers of the implementation of the street addressing project in Ghana. He is currently a Spatial and Sustainable Development Planner at the Town and Country Planning Department, a Member of the Ghana Institute of Planners and also the CEO of Sustainable Urbanism Ghana, where he focuses on using his skills and knowledge to influence spatial strategies and public policies that will ensure resilient, sustainable and inclusive cities of Ghana and the African Region.