The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young AfricanÂ Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Governmentâ€™sÂ Young African Leaders InitiativeÂ (YALI). Since 2014, nearlyÂ 4,400 young leaders from every country in Sub-SaharanÂ Africa have participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows,Â between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplishedÂ leadersÂ and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impactÂ in their communities and countries.
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.
Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Â 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 on theÂ Resources page);
- Are citizens and residents of eligible countries (to be announced); and
- Are not Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
- Participate in a six-weekÂ Leadership InstituteÂ at a U.S. college or
university to share your experiences with and to learn from
Americans and other Fellows.
- Explore industries beyond your daily work and expand your expertise.
- Attend aÂ SummitÂ 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.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):
- 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;
- The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and to respect the opinions of others;
- Strong social and communication skills;
- An energetic, positive attitude;
- A demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in the preferred sector/track; and
- A commitment to return to Africa and apply leadership skills and training to benefit the applicantâ€™s country and/or community after they return home.
Scholarship Application Deadline
- September 12, 2019Â | Application opens
- October 9, 2019Â | Application deadline
- December 2019 â€“ February 2020Â | Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates
- Late March 2020Â | Applicants are notified of their status
- May 2020Â | Visa processing and Pre-Departure Orientations for Finalists
- Mid-June 2020Â | Fellowship begins in the United States
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