2021 Alumni: Apply Now for Alumni Enrichment Institutes

The application for Alumni Enrichment Institutes is now closed.

The U.S. Department of State and IREX are excited to announce that the application for the Alumni Enrichment Institutes, a new, unique opportunity for 2021 Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, is now open.

Alumni Enrichment Institutes will allow 2021 Fellowship Alumni to collaborate with U.S. counterparts and each other and to continue building the professional and leadership skills they developed during their virtual 2021 Leadership Institutes.  Up to 200 eligible 2021 Fellowship Alumni will be competitively selected to travel to the United States in July and August 2022 for two-week placements at U.S. institutions of higher education.

While Leadership Institutes were organized into the thematic tracks of Business, Civic Engagement, and Public Management, Alumni Enrichment Institutes are not track-specific and will instead use experiential and discussion-based learning to provide participants with broadly applicable knowledge relevant to many fields and sectors, such as the United States’ diverse culture and society, resiliency and ethics in leadership, and social justice principles. 

Key Dates

  • November 17, 2021: Application opens
  • December 8, 2021: Application deadline
  • December 2021–February 2022: Application review and selection
  • March 2022: Applicants notified of their status
  • May 2022: Visa processing
  • Mid-July 2022: Participants arrive in the United States
  • Early August 2022: Participants depart the United States


Alumni Enrichment Institutes are open to Fellowship Alumni who meet the following criteria:

  • Are 2021 Fellowship Alumni in good standing;
  • Are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government (including a U.S. embassy or consulate, USAID, or other U.S. Government entity);
  • Are current residents of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, or Zimbabwe; and
  • Submit complete applications by the specified deadline.

Please note that participants are not allowed to have dependents, including spouses and children, accompany them during the Alumni Enrichment Institute.

Selection Process and Criteria

The Alumni Enrichment Institutes selection process is a merit-based open competition for the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship cohort.  After the deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed using the following criteria (not listed in order of importance):

  • Participation and engagement in 2021 Fellowship activities, including Institute Cohort Activities and completion of asynchronous Fellowship requirements;
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving their community and applying skills gained through the Fellowship and Alumni Activities to their professional and personal lives;
  • Ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and to respect the opinions of others;
  • Demonstrated motivation to learn about the United States and share lessons in their home communities;
  • A positive, inclusive attitude; and
  • A commitment to return to Sub-Saharan Africa and contribute skills and talents to build and serve their communities.


Please email MWFAlumni@irex.org with any questions.