Texas Tech University

About Mandela Washington Fellowship


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The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was launched in 2010 to further advance young African leaders as they incite progress and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and boost peace and security across Africa. Beginning the summer of 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship has brought young African leaders to the United States for academic coursework and leadership training. The program creates exclusive prospects in Africa for Fellows to implement their new skills in leading organizations, communities and countries.

Since 2014, two thousand young African leaders from every country in Sub Saharan Africa have participated as Fellows in the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Selected from 120,000 applications over the course of three years, the Mandela Washington Fellows represent the extraordinary promise of an emerging generation of entrepreneurs, activists, and public officials. Mandela Washington Fellows have proven track records of leadership and demonstrate a strong commitment to contributing their skills and talents to strengthening and serving their communities.

The Mandela Washington Fellows' training in the U.S. can be seen as a long-term investment in these exceptional young leaders. The YALI network offers continuing opportunities for networking, professional development, and seed funding for entrepreneurs and community service after the 6-week Institute in the Fellows' home countries. Fellows have access to improvement seminars, local and regional networking events, and an online platform for future collaborations.

Young African Leaders Initiative