The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders 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.
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:
- Fellows are placed in groups of 25 at leading colleges and universities across the United States, in both urban and rural areas, that represent the diversity of American higher education. Institutes, which will take place from mid-June to late July 2020, will focus on skills development in one of three themes: Leadership in Business, Leadership in Civic Engagement, or Leadership in Public Management.
- The intensive six-week model uses leadership development as the framework to create links between academic sessions, a strengths-based Common Leadership Curriculum, site visits, community service, and cultural activities.
- Fellows in all three themes will gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills that can be applied in or adapted to African contexts. Although all Institutes will include common components, each program agenda is unique and is based on the particular strengths and resources of the host institution.
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 nonprofit 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.
- The placements will relate to each Fellow’s professional sector but are typically not an exact match to their current position at home. Rather, it is an opportunity to introduce Fellows to new perspectives 2020 Mandela Washington
• Activities in Africa: Fellows will have access to networking opportunities, ongoing professional development, and volunteer opportunities upon their return home after the Fellowship.
Eligibility and Criteria
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to
young African leaders who meet the following criteria:
• 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 English Language instructions below);
• Are 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.
• Are residents of one of the above countries; and
• Are not alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. A proven record of leadership and accomplishment in business, civic engagement, or public service;
• A demonstrated commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
• Strong social and communication skills;
• An energetic, positive attitude;
• A demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in the preferred sector/track;
• A commitment to return to Africa and apply leadership skills and training to benefit the applicant’s
country and/or community after they return home.
Awards and Benefits
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;
• 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 (for up to 70 Fellows)
- Leadership in Business: The Leadership in Business Institutes will provide Fellows with an overview of U.S. entrepreneurial strategies, including those that are employed to address social issues. Business Institutes will focus on developing skills in business and entrepreneurship while examining the development, history, challenges, and successes of U.S. enterprises and social enterprises, in theUnited States and globally, with specific relevance to the African continent
- Leadership in Business: The Leadership in Business Institutes will provide Fellows with an overview
of U.S. entrepreneurial strategies, including those that are employed to address social issues. Business Institutes will focus on developing skills in business and entrepreneurship while examining the development, history, challenges, and successes of U.S. enterprises and social enterprises, in the
The United States and globally, with specific relevance to the African continent.
- The Leadership in Public Management Institutes will provide
Fellows with an overview of public management and leadership, including regional economic and workforce development; financial management in public and non-profit organizations; planning and the global knowledge economy; and domestic and foreign development policies
How To Apply
To apply please click here (applications open on September 12th)
For more information please click here