Apply Now! Be a part of the next generation of African Leaders.

Applications for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship are due on October 9, 2019.

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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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2020 Reciprocal Exchange Application Now Open

Through the Reciprocal Exchange component, Americans travel to Africa to build upon strategic partnerships and professional connections developed with young African leaders during their Fellowship in the United States.

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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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2020 Reciprocal Exchange Component Application Now Open

September 17, 2019


Apply Now! 2020 Fellowship Application Opens

September 12, 2019

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Apply 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 for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders will be opening in September 2019! Do you have what it takes to join our next cohort of Fellows? Check out the 2020 Fellowship Application timeline, eligibility information, and more by clicking here.

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  • September 12, 2019

    Application opens

  • October 9, 2019

    Application closes

  • 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

Application Deadline: October 9, 2019

Apply now