Applications for 2023 LINC Grants are Now Open

Leveraging Innovations in New Communities (LINC) Grants provide Fellowship Alumni with funding for professional collaboration with others in the Alumni Network.

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Applications for 2023 Reciprocal Exchange Component Now Open

The Fellowship’s Reciprocal Exchange component supports collaborative projects between U.S. professionals and Fellowship Alumni in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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U.S. Educational Institutions to Host Mandela Washington Fellows

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are pleased to announce the 28 U.S. educational institutions selected to host 700 Mandela Washington Fellows in summer 2023.

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Fellowship Alumni Convene at United Nations General Assembly

Alongside the UN General Assembly, Fellowship Alumni and members of the Fellowship Network hosted and attended events to connect and accelerate progress toward pressing global issues.

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Alumna supports Ghanaian women and girls with financial independence

Learn how 2021 Fellowship Alumna Rhoda Wedam is making a difference in northern Ghana.

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The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was created in 2010 and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2020. Established in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship has brought nearly 5,800 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States for academic and leadership training. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished innovators and leaders in their communities and countries.

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The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.

Program Impact

  • 49

    Fellows have come from all 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
    Sub-Saharan African Countries
  • 5,800

    Since 2014, nearly 5,800 Fellowship Alumni have completed the program.
    Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Network
  • 67,000

    Since 2014, Fellows have dedicated more than 67,000 hours to support U.S. communities during their Leadership Institutes.
    Hours of Support Dedicated to U.S. Communities
  • 2,400

    Since 2014, the Fellowship has engaged approximately 2,400 institutions from the private, nonprofit, governmental, and multilateral sectors across the United States during Institutes, PDEs, Reciprocal Exchanges, and the Summit.
    Companies and Organizations Engaged


Catalyst Grant Winner Increases Food Security in Tanzania

2021 Fellowship Alumnus Abdallah Mabrouck and his team, Ayubu Mundekesye and Kelvin Mwise, are Mandela Washington Fellowship Catalyst Grant winners.

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Announcing the 2023 Leadership Impact Award

March 22, 2023


U.S. Educational Institutions to Host Mandela Washington Fellows

February 1, 2023

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Learn more about the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship!

“I believe that the Mandela Washington Fellowship has made me a stronger and better leader and has challenged me to think outside the box… There can only be more, bigger, and better to come from me, my fellow Fellows, and the continent of Africa as a whole.”
– Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumna

Learn more about the 2023 Fellowship selection timeline and process, eligibility information, and more. We can't wait to meet the next Mandela Washington Fellows!

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  • September 13, 2022

    Application Closed

  • Nov 2022-Jan 2023

    Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates

  • March 2023

    Applicants are notified of their status

  • May 2023

    Finalist visa processing and Pre-Fellowship Orientations

  • June 2023

    Fellowship begins in the United States

  • July 2023

    Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit