The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.
Each year, the Fellowship provides up to 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution with support for professional development after they return home. Institutes focus on leadership and skills development in one of three tracks: Business, Civic Engagement, or Public Management.
Program Length6-week program at a U.S. college or university then an opportunity for up to 70 Mandela Washington Fellows to participate in a 4-week Professional Development Experience with a U.S. business, civil society organization, or public agency.
Eligibility and Application OverviewPublic applications are accepted.
Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Are between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application deadline, although exceptional applicants ages 21-24 will be considered;
- Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
- Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
- Are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government (including a U.S. embassy or consulate, USAID, and other U.S. Government entities);
- Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English (applicants who are deaf should refer to the Application Instructions);
- Are citizens and residents of one of the eligible countries listed; and
- Are not alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Each year the Mandela Washington Fellowship application opens from mid-September to mid-October.
For more information about the Fellowship, please visit the U.S. Department of State's Mandela Washington Fellowship website.