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Fully Funded Mandela Washington Fellowship 2020 for Young African Leaders

Fully Funded Mandela Washington Fellowship 2020 for Young African Leaders in USA

Fully Funded
Country: USA
City: Washington DC
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In 2014, the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) started the flagship program Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Since its establishment, nearly 4,400 young leaders from every country in Africa has participated in the Fellowship program. Now, again for the session of 2020, the YALI invites application for the fully funded Mandela Washington Fellowship.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship provides expansive opportunities for African leaders in their personality development, while also empowering young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The fellows are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries.

With the Mandela Washington Fellowship program, YALI aims to invest in new generation of young African leaders shaping the future of the continent. Further, the fellowship program:

  • Responds 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.

In order to accomplish its goals, the fellowship program superimposes several coherent components that ensures nurturing the young leaders.

Mandela Washington Fellowship Components

Leadership Institute:

Each year, the Fellows participate in six-week Leadership Institutes, studying Business, Civic Engagement, or Public Management at U.S. colleges or universities.  During their time on campus, Fellows connect with Americans and enrich local U.S. communities while sharing best practices.

Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit:

After the Institutes, Fellows convene for a multi-day Summit in Washington, D.C., where they forge connections with one another and U.S. leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors, setting the stage for long-term engagement between the United States and Africa.

Professional Development Experiences

Following the Summit, a group of competitively-selected Fellows remains in the United States for four weeks to work with private, public, and non-profit organizations. Both Fellows and Hosts benefit from discussing shared issues and challenges in their sectors, broadening their perspectives, and positioning U.S. organizations for international engagement.

Reciprocal Exchanges

Americans have the opportunity to apply to travel to Africa to collaborate on projects with Fellows, building upon connections initiated during the fellowship in the United States. These partnerships and professional connections are intended to form lasting relationships, expand markets and networks, and increase mutual understanding.

Opportunities for Alumni

Upon returning home, Fellows continue to build on the skills and connections developed during their time in the United States through access to ongoing professional development, networking, and collaboration opportunities with support from the U.S. Department of State and affiliated partners

Fully Funded Mandela Washington Fellowship 2020

The YALI initiative is a funded program by the US Government. Hence, the fellows will receive fully funded opportunity to attend the Mandela Washington 2020 Fellowship for Young African Leaders. This include the fellows being sponsored by the US Government. Further, the fellows will have unparalleled experience in:

  • Participating in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university to share your experiences with and to learn from Americans and other Fellows.
  • Further, the fellows have an opportunity to explore industries beyond your daily work and expand your expertise.
  • Likewise, they can 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.
  • Also, join a continental and global Alumni network to help you seek innovative solutions to common challenges.

Eligibility for the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2020

The candidates who are eligible for the Fellowship in the United States have an excellent background demonstrating positive social impact in their communities. Moreover, this is an opportunity for young African Leaders to grow their reach as well as initiate a longlasting partnership with the American counterpart. Hence, a fellow should have a profile that fits the following description:

  • Between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application deadline, although exceptional applicants ages 21-24 will be considered;
  • Non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
  • Further, eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
  • Must not be 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);
  • Further, they should be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English.
  • Are citizens or residents 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;
  • However, Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship are not eligible to apply again.

Selection Criteria

The selection committee will select the candidates on the basis of

  • Proven record of leadership and accomplishment in business, civic engagement, or public service;
  • 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;
  • Energetic, positive attitude;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in the preferred sector/track; and
  • Commitment to return to Africa as well as apply leadership skills and training to benefit the applicant’s country and/or community after they return home.

How to apply for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship?

Candidates should complete the online 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship form to apply for the program. Only online application is accepted. While filling up the form, candidates must answer all the questions in the application. All the answers must be unplagiarized and written English.


The deadline to submit the application for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is on 9 October 2019. Applications arriving after the deadline are not valid.


Type of Opportunity Scholarships and Fellowships
Deadline09 October,2019
CityWashington DC
Open toAfrican Nationalities
OrganizerUS Government's Young African Leaders Initiative
Contact the organizer[email protected]



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