​Ayomide Shittu, a Texas-based American attorney of Nigerian descent will be joining 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow Emeka Ossai, a Project Lead at Inceptum Services, an organization that aims to raise 1 Million student entrepreneurs across Nigerian universities by 2020. 

The pair met in 2016 when Emeka Ossai was a Mandela Washington Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin. They both realized a mutual desire to continue working to reduce youth unemployment and underemployment in Nigeria, especially in finding ways to involve the diaspora in their efforts. As a result of these conversations, when IREX and the Mandela Washington Fellowship program called for applications for a reciprocal exchange, the pair quickly prepared a project proposal to further those goals.  The Project is called Project Each One Teach One (Project E1T1).  

The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a nonprofit organization focusing on international education and research, to help continue collaboration between Mandela Washington Fellows and American professionals. This program is one of many such, taking U.S. citizens to several countries in sub-Saharan Africa during April and May 2017.  

Project E1T1 will take its participants, fifty University of Ibadan students, through several topics, including applying design-thinking to goal setting, business communication, networking and building social capital, interview skills. 

The program will be led by American exchange fellow- Ayo Shittu and Emeka Ossai, Mandela Washington Fellow 2016 with several subject-matter experts on business plan formulation and applying and accessing opportunities for internships, fellowships and other experiential opportunities.   

The goal is to bridge the gaps between what the students are taught at the university and the skills needed for the real world, whether that is in corporate Nigeria or in their various entrepreneurial pursuits. Each student will be impressed upon, the importance to teaching someone in their community one thing they learn at the training.  

Finally, each program participant will be paired with a mentor who is a young professional in diaspora in a similar field to the student’s area of study for a 6-month mentoring relationship to allow the participants an opportunity to engage with someone who is living their dreams, in real life. Each participant will receive a program participation certificate.  

As a result of this program, Ayo and Emeka hope to make impact in the continued professional development of the participants and more widely, Nigeria’s burgeoning youth population such that they are better equipped to meet their goals upon graduation  

For more information, please contact: Ayo Shittu, 

Emeka Ossai, ​  


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