Join YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship Today

Discover the unique opportunity of YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, offering a transformative executive program to 700 emerging leaders in the U.S. in 2024.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is once again inviting ambitious and visionary young leaders to join an immersive, executive-style program in the United States for summer 2024.

Continue reading to comprehend the program, its advantages, and application instructions.

Grasping YALI and Its Vision

1.1 About the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)
The Young African Leaders Initiative nurtures emerging African leaders.

Given that nearly a third of Africans are between 10 and 24, and 60% are under 35, there’s an unmistakable need to nurture strong, driven leaders who will guide this youthful population.

YALI’s core revolves around three models, all recognizing and empowering Africa’s young leaders.
1.2 The Mandate of the Mandela Washington Fellowship
In 2024, accommodating 700 leaders, this fellowship will provide a customized U.S. program.

It boosts skills and empowers Fellows for sector and community transformations.

Fellowship Benefits: More than Just a Program

2.1 Broadened Horizons
Fellows have the privilege of spending six weeks in a Leadership Institute located at a prominent U.S. college or university.

This allows them to swap experiences with U.S. peers and other attending Fellows.

2.2 Skill Enhancement and Networking
They explore diverse industries, enhance their work with new perspectives, skills, and ideas, and participate in an African leaders’ summit.

Additionally, engaging with individuals from the U.S. Government, civic groups, and businesses provides valuable networking chances.

2.3 Joining a Global Network
Upon completion, Fellows join a worldwide Alumni Network, driving innovative solutions for shared challenges.

Qualification Criteria

The Mandela Washington Fellowship champions inclusivity, strictly opposing discrimination related to race, color, gender, religion, status, disability, orientation, or identity.

3.1 Eligibility Criteria
Applicants must be aged between 25 and 35 by the application deadline.

Exceptions might be made for outstanding applicants aged 21-24. They must also:

  • Not hold U.S. citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Qualify for a U.S. J-1 visa.
  • Possess proficiency in English.
  • Be a citizen and resident of one of the listed African countries.
  • Not be alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

3.2 Selection Criteria
A set of comprehensive factors will be considered during the selection, ranging from a record of leadership, commitment to community service, and ability to work in diverse groups, to knowledge in the preferred sector and a dedication to applying learned skills back in their communities.

Important Dates to Remember

Application opens: August 15, 2023
Application deadline: September 12, 2023
Semi-finalists interviews: November 2023 – January 2024
Status notification: March 2024
Visa processing and orientations: May 2024
Fellowship begins: June 2024

Selection Process Insights

The Fellowship follows a merit-based open competition.

After applications are reviewed, selected semi-finalists are interviewed by U.S. embassies or consulates in their home countries.

Advanced rounds require the presentation of personal identification.

Ready to Change the World? Here’s How to Apply

Visit the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) portal at to submit your application.

For questions, consult the FAQs and explore the Resources page for detailed instructions and vital information.

Joining the Mandela Washington Fellowship is an investment in yourself and Africa’s future.
Seize this singular opportunity to make an impact now.

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