Alumni Symposium, March 12-18, 2023, Boksburg, South Africa

Information about the 2023 Alumni Symposium

The 2023 Alumni Symposium is a unique opportunity for 2021 Fellowship Alumni. At the Symposium, Participants will hear from prominent U.S. and African figures, discuss critical topics impacting U.S.-Africa relations, and bond through team-building activities and networking. This event will be sponsored by the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and the Fellowship will cover visa fees, Participant transportation, lodging, and meals.

Please review these Frequently Asked Questions and contact our team at with any others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the 2023 Alumni Symposium?

The Alumni Symposium will convene Fellowship Alumni from the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship cohort, U.S. Government officials, and other partners for discussions, networking events, and other activities.  The purpose of the event is to provide this group of Alumni with an opportunity to deepen their networks across the continent and globally.  Additionally, this will be the first time many in this cohort will be together in person since the 2021 Fellowship took place virtually.

When is the 2023 Symposium?

The Symposium will take place March 12-18, 2023.

Who can attend the 2023 Alumni Symposium?

The Symposium is open to the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship cohort.

Where is Symposium taking place?

The Symposium will take place in Boksburg, South Africa, near Johannesburg.

How can I attend the 2023 Symposium?

To attend the 2023 Symposium, Participants must be Alumni in good standing and part of the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship cohort.  Alumni must reside in one of the 49 eligible sub-Saharan African countries, have a valid passport, and be able to obtain a South African visa.

What will be covered for Symposium Participants?

The Fellowship will cover the costs of travel, visas, lodging, and meals for all selected Symposium Participants. Selected Participants will be guided through a process to book their travel and secure visas via an IREX-preferred agency. If you do not have a passport, or if your passport requires renewal, we strongly recommend you begin that process as soon as possible.

Can I bring my family/dependents to the Symposium?

No, dependents are not permitted entry into the Symposium and/or Symposium-related events, nor may family of Symposium Participants travel to South Africa. If a Participant is found to have brought dependents or additional people to Symposium, they may risk immediate termination of their participation.

Will there be a Partnership Expo at the Symposium?

There will not be a Partnership Expo at the 2023 Alumni Symposium, but we encourage U.S. partners to explore our Fellowship Directory to learn more about our Alumni community and their areas of interest. If U.S. partners would like to be added to our mailing list for the 2023 Summit Partnership Expo, please email us at

Can I still attend the Symposium if I’m not invited, but can fund my own travel and lodging?

Alumni will not be able to attend or participate in the Symposium if they are not officially invited.