President Barack Obama plans to rename a US-sponsored African leadership programme after Nelson Mandela. Obama, speaking yesterday to about 500 young African leaders studying in the US, said an initiative he announced a year ago would be renamed the Mandela Washington Fellowship. It aimed to enrol 1 000 participants in two years. Under the programme, Africans aged 25 to 35 study at 20 top US universities. The White House said it was part of the US investment programme in Africa to strengthen democracy, spark economic growth and boost the odds “for peace and security in Africa”. The $350 million (R3.7 billion) programme is administered by a State Department agency and is supported by donations or services in kind from US companies. – Bloomberg