Amplifying African Voices in Climate Change

Read about 2022 LIA Winner Marie Christina Kolo’s experience at COP 27 in this photo essay.

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Meet the 2023 Catalyst Grant Winners

Congratulations to Cradle Care Initiative and Nova Group! Learn more about the projects and the Alumni who lead them.

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Fellowship Alumni Convene in South Africa

Hundreds of 2021 Alumni and members of the Fellowship Network met in Boksburg, South Africa, from March 12-18, 2023, for the 2023 Alumni Symposium.

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2022 Catalyst Grant Winner Increases Food Security

2021 Alumnus Abdallah Mabrouck combines digital technology and direct support to deliver agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers in Tanzania.

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What’s Going On with Fellowship Alumni?

Check out recent stories about the Fellowship Alumni Network’s impact and accomplishments.

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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
  • 67,000

    Since 2014, Fellows have dedicated more than 67,000 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


Making Waves in Cape Town’s Coastal Townships

Learn how 2018 Alumnus Nigel Savel's Fellowship helped him create a space safe for Western Cape youth to learn, grow, and surf.

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Seeking Readers for 2024 Fellowship Applications

May 3, 2023


Meet the 2023 Catalyst Grant Winners

April 24, 2023

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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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  • 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-Fellowship Orientations

  • June 2023

    Fellowship begins in the United States

  • July 2023

    Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit