The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (MWF) is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The Fellowship, begun in 2014, supports young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 4:00PM GMT ON OCTOBER 9, 2019
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. The Mandela Washington Fellowship includes;
- A six-week Leadership Institute: This will take place from mid-June to late July 2020 and will focus on skills development in one of three themes: Leadership in Business, Leadership in Civic Engagement, or Leadership in Public Management. Fellows in all three themes will gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills that can be applied in or adapted to African contexts.
- A Summit in Washington, D.C.: At the conclusion of the Leadership Institutes, all Fellows will participate in a high-level Summit where they will participate in a variety of sessions. They will have the opportunity to network with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. The Summit will take place in late July or early August 2020.
- An optional four-week Professional Development Experience: As part of the Fellowship application, individuals may apply to participate in a Professional Development Experience (PDE) at an NGO, business, and government agency throughout the United States. The PDE is designed to give Fellows practical training and the opportunity to learn transferable skills, expand their professional networks, and apply concepts learned at their Institutes to real-world situations in the U.S. context.
- Activities in Africa: Fellows will have access to networking opportunities, ongoing professional development, and volunteer opportunities upon their return home after the Fellowship.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS OF THE FELLOWSHIP
There is no fee to apply to the Mandela Washington Fellowship. If you are selected for the Fellowship, the U.S. Government will cover all program costs.
Financial provisions provided by the U.S. Government will include:
• J-1 visa support
• Round-trip travel from Fellow’s home city to the United States and domestic U.S. travel as required by the program (Fellows must fly out of their home country within Africa to the United States.);
• A six-week Leadership Institute;
• A concluding Summit in Washington, D.C.;
• A limited accident and sickness benefit plan;
• Housing and meals during the program; and
• An optional four-week Professional Development Experience
TECHNICAL ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders who meet the following criteria:
• Between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application deadline, although exceptional applicants ages 21-24 will be considered;
• Not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
• Eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
• 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)2;
• Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English (applicants who are deaf should refer to the English Language instructions below);
• Citizens of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, 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.
• Residents of one of the above countries; and
• Not Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
HOW TO APPLY