The US State Department has selected Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) reporter Paul Shalala as a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow.
Mr Shalala will be among a thousand young African leaders who will spend six months at US universities and institutions being mentored in public management, civic leadership and business and entrepreneurship.
Over 1,500 youths in Zambia applied for the fellowship and about 200 were interviews from which 41 were selected to travel to the USA in June for the fellowship.
The fellowship starts on 17th June and ends on 4th August.
According to a letter by US Ambassador to Zambia Eric Schulz to Mr Shalala, the ZNBC journalist will be among the youths who will also attend the Presidential Summit which President Barack Obama will host in Washington at the end of the fellowship in August.
Mr Schulz says Mr Shalala was successful in his interviews hence the reason the State Department offered him a place as a fellow.
And the Mandela Washington Team has disclosed that Mr Shalala will do his fellowship at Syracuse University in New York.
In an emailed statement, the team said Mr Shalala will study public management at the university and his placement is final and it cannot be changed.
Prominent among people who studied at Syracuse University are US Vice President Joe Biden and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Mr Shalala applied for the Mandela Washington Fellowship in November 2015.
In February 2016, he was interviewed by the US Embassy.
His application for the public management track was based on his job experience at Zambia’s state broadcaster ZNBC.
He also profiled his award-winning blog The Zambian Analyst (www.paulshalala.blogspot.com) which he hopes can help him inform the public through his news and analytical pieces before, during and after the August 11 general elections this year.
Since 2014, thousands of young African leaders have undergone mentorship under the Mandela Washington Fellowship which President Obama is implementing under his Young African Leaders Initiative.
Prominent among Zambians who have undergone this fellowship are media personalities Luyando Hangala, Kenny Tonga, Patience Chisanga and Raphael Kumwenda, hip hop artist Brian ‘B Flow’ Bwembya, Governance expert Isaac Mwanza, and many other youths.
Meanwhile, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation is excited about Mr Shalala’s selection for this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.
ZNBC Corporate Affairs Manager Masuzyo Ndhlovu says the selection has been well received by management.