Engage with the next generation of African leaders! 

A group of people stand below a sign on a wall reading Tesla Gigafactory 1
Fellows visit a Tesla factory during their Leadership Institute.

Many local and multinational corporations, NGOs, universities, and regional institutions have become partners and are directly supporting the Mandela Washington Fellowship by hosting Fellows, collaborating with them on new initiatives in the United States and Africa, and offering access to grants, financing, mentoring, and other professional development opportunities.  Leveraging the resources, networks, and skills of private partners deeply enriches the program’s objectives by helping to identify promising young leaders and providing opportunities for Fellows to accelerate their growth and leadership trajectories. 

By partnering with the Mandela Washington Fellowship, you can: 

  • Invest in the next generation of young African leaders who are rapidly shaping the continent’s future. 
  • Reinforce the Fellowship’s commitment to an enduring partnership between the United States and Africa. 
  • Help young African leaders develop skills and networks to build their countries and communities. 
  • Increase mutual understanding between Americans and counterparts from African nations. 

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About the Fellowship Community

The Fellowship brings nearly 700 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States annually for comprehensive, executive-style leadership training. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished innovators and leaders in their communities and countries, and the Alumni community is nearly 6,500 strong going into its tenth anniversary year.

Learn more about the Fellowship and its components.

Composite of 2 images; a woman sits in a chair and speaks on stage (left); a group of people stand in front of a classical building (right)
Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy of Spotify speaks at the 2023 Alumni Symposium (left); Fellows visit Philadelphia City Hall (right).

Ways to Engage with the Fellowship

Host a cohort of Fellows for a Leadership Institute on your campus. Learn more about the Leadership Institute application process and sign up for our contact list.

Moody Nolan of Columbus, Ohio, (top) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offices across the United States (bottom) have hosted Fellows for PDEs.

Welcome a Fellow at your organization for their Professional Development Experience (PDE), where Fellows substantively contribute to your organization during an up to 6 week-long professional collaboration.

Sponsor Fellowship events such as the annual Summit and contribute expertise to skills-building sessions, network with Fellows, and/or speak on a panel.

Collaborate with Fellowship Alumni on a Reciprocal Exchange, which allows a U.S. participant to implement a project with an Alumnus/a on the continent.

Promote cultural understanding: Support experiential learning and cultural awareness about your city by hosting meaningful experiences for Fellows and Americans to meet.

Engage with Fellows and Alumni as a guest speaker: Share your knowledge and inspire Fellows by leading an in-person session or virtual training in your area of expertise during one of the Fellowship components.

Help recruit and select future Fellows: Share the Fellowship application with your networks to help us reach young leaders across Sub-Saharan Africa and/or serve as a reader to review applications.

Composite of 2 images; group photo on left, people sit at table and listen to speaker on right
During their Institutes, Fellows visited Audible (left) and the U.S. African Development Foundation (right).

Want to learn more?

If you are interested in working with the Fellowship in the United States or in Africa, please contact mwfellowship@irex.org for more information.