The State Department is the United States federal executive department responsible for the international relations of the United States equivalent to the foreign ministry countries. The State Department operates the diplomatic mission of the United States abroad and is responsible for implementing the foreign policy of the United States and U.S diplomatic effort.

The congressional mandate to the bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at the U.S Department of State is to increase mutual understanding between people of the United States and Other countries and therefore to assist in the development of friendly, sympathetic and peaceful relations. ECA has nearly 1 million Alumni around the world, including than 40 Nobel Laureates and more than 300 current and former heads of state and government. One third of member of states of the United Nations are currently led by ECA alumni. The professional Fellows Program provided targeted professional development and support to emerging leaders working in the fields of Economic Empowerment, Legislative Process and Governance and Media. The program was designed to provide the participants 4 weeks fellowship experience to broaden their professional expertise. Placed in private, Non Profit and Government office across the United States, we learnt about how issues in our respective fields are addressed in the U.S, Interacted with a broad network of professional colleagues, and developed a more nuanced understanding of Americas and American society. During spring program, 220 professional fellows from 44 countries and territories participated in the fellowships across the United States.

The goal of this program was to establish a long-term partnership among representatives from private sector, community, governmental and non-governmental, and education organizations from all three countries. The program was aimed to facilitate a continuing exchange between participants and focused on demonstrating the importance of leadership capacity, professional skills, and women’s economic empowerment to economic development. Tanzanian and South African Fellows therefore developed their leadership capacity and professional skills through this fellowship. Fellows were to examine the roles of institutions in the U.S. devoted to economic development, community engagement, and gender equity. Fellows were provided examples of leadership first hand through internships and dialogue in seminars and meetings lead by U.S. leaders in these fields. Themes and issues included best practices, leadership skills, ethical standards, program development and evaluation, and empowerment in relevant areas such as community development, public health, employment services, counseling

In the fourth week, participants traveled to Washington DC to participate in the fellows’ congress. This Congress allowed participants to meet and share their experience with Fellows from around the world and to participate in dialogue to examine the roles of individual and institutional leadership in economic development and women’s economic empowerment.

Upon return, seven trained fellows agreed to form the group which was initially called Seven Fellows but then principally agreed to formalize the process hence registered it as Women Action Towards Economic Empowerment (WATED) to reflect on what was learnt and what will be impacted to other women and Girls in Tanzania.