Video: Fellow Final Thoughts, Stella Sata-Rukayi

Author: Luis Ruuska

Stella Sata-Rukayi, a participant in the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders at the University of Notre Dame, is a wealth consultant from Zambia who specializes in banking, financial literacy, and women’s empowerment. In this video, she discusses some of the most impactful moments from the six-week fellowship, the changes she has seen take place within herself, and how she plans to bring change to her business and country moving forward.

In her current position, Sata-Rukayi provides financial solutions to local professionals, particularly in the areas of education planning, retirement planning, and estate planning. In 2015, she helped develop a mobile business planning application for entrepreneurs. The app encourages entrepreneurs to plan ahead and provides them with a wide range of tools to assist them with growing their business, as well as pitching it to investors. Sata-Rukayi also focuses on empowering women by mentoring and providing one-on-one support to women entrepreneurs and is currently offering business and entrepreneurship training to women market stall owners in an area with targeted bias toward women. She also frequently gives talks on financial literacy at women’s networking functions, such as the Kupes Young Women’s Network.

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,