Coming Soon: 2023 Fellowship Applications

The application for the 2023 Mandela Washington Fellowship will be open from August 16 to September 13, 2022. Learn more about the eligibility requirements and application timeline.

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Alumni Enrichment Institute Participants Arrive in the United States

Alumni Enrichment Institutes are a unique follow-on opportunity for 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni to travel to the United States to collaborate with U.S. counterparts and build upon the skills they developed during their Fellowships.

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Hundreds of Young African Leaders Convene to Collaborate on Sustainability and Inclusion

Learn more about the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit and watch videos from the virtual event.

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Meet the 2022 Leadership Impact Award Winner

Learn more about Marie Christina Kolo, 2017 Fellowship Alumna from Madagascar, a social entrepreneur, eco-feminist, and climate activist empowering women and youth in the fight against climate change.

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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.

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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
  • 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


A Journey Three Years in the Making

On July 16, nearly 200 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa arrived in the United States, and while it is certainly impressive to bring exchange participants to the United States during...

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Alumni Enrichment Institute Participants Arrive in the United States

July 26, 2022


Meet the 2022 Leadership Impact Award Winner: Marie Christina Kolo

July 13, 2022

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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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  • August 16, 2022

    Application Open

  • 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-Departure Orientations

  • June 2023

    Fellowship begins in the United States