2024 Mandela Washington Fellows Arrive in the United States

Selected from a pool of over 50,000 applicants, the 700 Fellows are leaders in agriculture, civil society, education, healthcare, and other fields.

Learn More

Nurturing Resilience: Sustainable Agriculture in Comoros and Rwanda

In the fight against climate change, two collaborative initiatives in Comoros and Rwanda exemplify the power of knowledge, collaboration, and innovation in transforming agricultural practices.

Learn More

Meet the 2024 Catalyst Grant Winners

Congratulations to the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship Catalyst Grant award recipients Amara Chineme, Akusoa Osei-Appaw, and Bojosi Ncube

Learn More

Empowering Women with Disabilities in Lesotho

Since her Fellowship, Refiloehape Sesinyi hasn’t just empowered other people with disabilities in her community – she’s also empowering herself.

Learn More

Bridging the Gender Gap Through Entrepreneurship Training

Fellowship Alumni are empowering female entrepreneurs, giving them a seat at the table and building the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem.

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). Established in 2014, the Fellowship is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2024 and has brought nearly 6,500 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
  • 6,500

    Since 2014, nearly 6,500 Fellowship Alumni have completed the program.
    Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Network
  • 78,000

    Since 2014, Fellows have dedicated more than 78,000 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


Tackling food insecurity in Lesotho and rural southern Indiana

An agricultural startup founded by Purdue University alumni is addressing international food insecurity in the Kingdom of Lesotho and rural southern Indiana, with a goal to expand domestically and internationally.

View All Stories



Seeking Readers for 2025 Fellowship Applications

May 30, 2024


U.S. Educational Institutions to Host Mandela Washington Fellows  

January 31, 2024

View All News

Learn more about the 2024 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 2024 Fellowship selection timeline and process, eligibility information, and more. We can't wait to meet the next Mandela Washington Fellows!

Learn more
  • September 13, 2023

    Application Deadline

  • Nov 2023-Jan 2024

    Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates

  • March 2024

    Applicants are notified of their status

  • May 2024

    Finalist visa processing and Pre-Fellowship Orientations

  • June 2024

    Fellowship begins in the United States

  • July 2024

    Summit takes place in Washington, D.C.