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YALI 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

The Fellowship brings young leaders to the United States for academic coursework and leadership training and creates unique opportunities for Fellows and Americans to collaborate and as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa and the United States.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, begun in 2014, is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The Mandela Washington Fellowship will bring up to 700 young leaders to the United States in the summer of 2020 for a comprehensive executive-style program that is designed to build skills and empower Fellows to lead in their respective sectors and communities.

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About The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is an initiative of the United States Department of State. It was begun in 2010 by President Barack Obama. YALI is a programme aimed at educating and networking young African leaders with activities including the Mandela Washington Fellowship which brings them to study in the United States for six weeks, with follow-up resources, and student exchange programs.In 2014, the program was expanded to include four regional "leadership centers" in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and ... read more


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YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship


Aim and Benefits of YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship

  • Participate in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university to share your experiences with and learn from U.S. citizens and other Fellows.
  • Explore industries beyond your daily work and expand your expertise.
  • Attend a Summit with young African leaders in Washington, D.C.
  • Meet with U.S. Government, civic, and business leaders.
  • Strengthen your work through new connections, skills, and ideas.

Requirements for YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship Qualification

  • 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, or other U.S. Government entity);
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English (additional guidance coming for applicants who are deaf);
  • Are citizens of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, or Zimbabwe;
  • Are residents of one of the above countries; and
  • Are not Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

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Application Deadline

September 15, 2021


How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) on apply.mandelawashingtonfellowship.org to apply

Please note that Fellows are not allowed to have dependents, including spouses and children, accompany them during the Fellowship. The U.S. Department of State and IREX reserve the right to verify all information included in the application. In the event of a discrepancy, or if the information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.

For more details,visit MWF website



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