Meet the Catalyst Grant Winner

2021 Fellowship Alumnus Abdallah Mabrouck is the winner of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Catalyst Grant, a unique funding opportunity for 2021 Fellowship Alumni that funds initiatives that catalyze change and distribute proven poverty interventions.

Learn More

Harnessing the Power of Storytelling: My Leadership Journey

A photo essay by 2021 Leadership Impact Award Winner, Ian Tarimo on harnessing the power of creative storytelling and media technology.

Learn More

U.S. Educational Institutions to Host Alumni Enrichment Institutes

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are pleased to announce the eight U.S. educational institutions selected to host 2022 Alumni Enrichment Institutes, an opportunity for 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni to travel to the United States in summer 2022.

Learn More

Virtual Professional Development Experiences Increase Global Connections

Read about the recently completed virtual Professional Development Experiences.

Learn More

Bringing Maternal Care to Remote Communities in Lesotho

In the landlocked country of Lesotho, many remote communities lack access to healthcare and education services. 2021 Fellowship Alumna Mamello Makhele has committed herself to bridging this divide.

Learn More


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 5,100 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.

Learn More


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
  • 5,100

    Since 2014, nearly 5,100 Fellowship Alumni have completed the program.
    Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Network
  • 57,500

    Since 2014, Fellows have dedicated more than 57,500 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


USADF and USAID Team up to Invest in Young African Social Entrepreneurs

Eight young African social entrepreneurs received a total of $200,000 in grant funding from the U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

View All Stories



Announcing the 2022 Leadership Impact Award

March 15, 2022


Apply Now for a Reciprocal Exchange or LINC Grant

January 19, 2022

View All News

Learn more about the 2022 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

The 2022 Fellowship Application closed in September 2021. Learn more about the 2022 Fellowship selection timeline and process, eligibility information, and more. We can't wait to meet the next Mandela Washington Fellows!

Learn more
  • September 15, 2021

    Application Closed

  • Nov 2021-Jan 2022

    Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates

  • Late March 2022

    Applicants are notified of their status

  • April-May 2022

    Finalist visa processing and Pre-Departure Orientations

  • June 2022

    Fellowship begins in the United States

  • July 2022

    2022 Fellowship Summit takes place