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Washington Fellowship for Young Africans

Washington Fellowship for Young Africans

Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africans: The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the US President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

The program takes over 500 young leaders to the United States each year for leadership training and mentoring, and will create unique opportunities in Africa to put those new skills to practical use in propelling economic growth and prosperity, and strengthening democratic institutions.





The Washington Fellowship will:

  • Invest in a new generation of young African leaders who are shaping the continent’s future.
  • Respond to the strong demand by young African leaders for practical skills that can help them take their work to the next level in the fields of public service and business.
  • Deepen partnerships and connections between the United States and Africa.
  • Build a prestigious network of young African leaders who are at the forefront of change and innovation in their respective sectors.

Leaders will attend U.S. universities for training in one of three areas: public management and administration; business and entrepreneurship; and civic leadership.

Training in each of these sectors will focus on the skills young African leaders need to run better ministries, start and grow businesses, and serve their communities.

The initiative will grow to 1000 young leaders each year.

Washington Fellows will spend six weeks at top American universities and colleges that will provide tailored training in the sectors above, leveraging top faculty, cutting-edge curricula, and local opportunities to impart practical professional and leadership training.

Formal university training will be augmented by workshops, mentoring, and networking opportunities with leaders in each field, as well as internships across the United States.

For example, U.S. agencies such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank will host Washington Fellows as interns to expose them to the U.S. workplace and practices, and build their technical skills.





Washington Fellows will also benefit from partnerships with American companies like Boeing, which will provide leadership training at the Boeing Leadership Center in St. Louis to extend Fellows’ campus-based training.

The Fellows will also have the chance to interact with the President during an annual Summit in Washington, D.C., along with other senior U.S. government, business, and civic leaders.

Washington Fellowship for Young Africans – Application Criteria

  • Be a citizen of and reside in a sub-Saharan African country. Persons holding U.S. citizenship or permanent residency are ineligible.
  • Speak and write proficiently in English.
  • Be between 25-35 years of age at the time of application submission, although exceptional candidates younger than 25 will be considered.
  • Have a proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service, business or entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship.
  • Be committed to return to Africa and contribute their skills and talents to build and serve their communities.

For further details and application, see: Washington Fellowship for Young Africans

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