What’s next for the 2020 Fellowship Application process?

The application period for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship is closed. Check out the selection criteria and timeline.

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Host Fellows On Your Campus

U.S. Department of State and IREX seek partners to host 2020 Leadership Institutes.

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Mandela Washington Fellows convene in Washington

Hundreds of young African leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit.

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About us

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The Fellowship brings young leaders to the United States for academic coursework and leadership training and creates unique opportunities for Fellows and Americans to collaborate and as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa and the United States.

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The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is sponsored by 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
  • 4,400

    Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni
  • 45 Million

    Number of employees, beneficiaries, and stakeholders impacted by Fellows' business and non-profits since 2014.
    People Reached
  • 39,000

    Approximate number of hours dedicated to support U.S. communities during Fellows' Leadership Institutes since 2016.
    Hours of Support Dedicated to U.S. Communities


Growing global business partnerships from international exchanges

Growing global business partnerships from international exchanges Sub-Saharan Africa has some of the fastest-growing economies across the globe, while the United States exports a large number of American goods to African countries.  Nathalie Kpante,...

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Learn About What’s Next! Applications for the 2020 Fellowship Application Are Now Closed

October 9, 2019


Opportunities for Host Institutions

September 11, 2019

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Learn more about how to be a part of the next generation of African Leaders!

“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.”
– 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow

The application period for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders has closed. Check out the 2020 Fellowship Application timeline and process, eligibility information, and more by clicking here. We can't wait to meet the next Mandela Washington Fellows!

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  • October 9, 2019

    Application closed

  • Oct - Nov 2019

    Application review

  • Dec 2019 - Feb 2020

    Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates

  • Late March 2020

    Applicants are notified of their status

  • May 2020

    Finalist visa processing and Pre-Departure Orientations

  • Mid-June 2020

    Fellowship begins in the United States