Video: Fellow Final Thoughts, Mulku Sulaiman Bangura

Author: Luis Ruuska

Mulku Sulaiman Bangura, a participant in the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders at the University of Notre Dame, is a youth advocate and information communication technology (ICT) professional from Sierra Leone who specializes in mobile technology, e-learning, and youth mentoring. In this video, he discusses some of the most impactful moments from the six-week fellowship, as well as what changes he plans to bring to his country moving forward, such as solar energy in rural areas and justice for incarcerated persons who have been wrongfully convicted or sentenced unfairly.

Currently an operations manager at iCare Business Process Outsourcing, a company he co-founded, Bangura sells strategies and a proprietary short message service (SMS) platform to businesses that wish to outsource some revenue-generating functions such as SMS alerts, SMS marketing, SMS banking, and the like. Formerly, he worked as a youth advocacy officer at the Rural Youth Development Organization. Bangura also actively supports girls’ and youth education by providing free after-school courses in reading and spelling for primary and secondary school children and conducts a bi-monthly ICT training course for students.

Since 2014, the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) has worked closely with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, to bring the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), to Notre Dame. The fellowship empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training and networking opportunities.

The program is highly competitive, and the U.S. Department of State received more than 64,000 applications for only 1,000 placements across the country for the 2017 fellowship. Notre Dame’s class of 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows, 11 men and 14 women, came to campus from 20 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2016, the fellowship staff received a Presidential Team Irish Award for "exemplifying the University of Notre Dame’s core values on behalf of [NDIGD] and the University."

The Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development — an integral part of the new Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame — promotes human development and dignity among people worldwide through applied innovations, impact evaluation, education and training that help build just and equitable societies.

Contact: Luis Ruuska, communications specialist, Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development,