Mandela Washington Fellowship Opportunity


Apply now to be a part of the next generation of African leaders!

We are pleased to announce that the application period for the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is now open. Applications are due by September 13, 2022.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).  YALI was created by President Obama in 2010 and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020.  Established in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship has brought nearly 5,800 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States for academic and leadership training. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished innovators and leaders in their communities and countries.

YALI  is  looking for demonstrated leaders between the ages of 25-35 years old, who are doing innovative work in the areas of Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership or Public Management to apply for this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship.  Finalists will spend six weeks in the U.S. from June – July 2023 at different U.S. universities exploring issues of leadership in the above areas along with 700 of their peers from all over sub-Saharan Africa.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship offers an unparalleled opportunity to:

  • Participate in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university to share your experiences with and to 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.
  • Join a continental and global Alumni Network to help you seek innovative solutions to common challenges.

Who is eligible to apply?

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders meeting the below criteria:

  • Are citizens of and residents in a sub-Saharan African country;
  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application submission;
  • Are recognized refugees eligible to apply for Government issued Travel Documents;
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J -1 visa;
  • Are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government;
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English; and
  • Are not Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.


Apply here:

Learn more about the fellowship and your eligibility HERE.

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ATTENTION: Deadline to apply is 13 SEPTEMBER 2022