Established in 2015, the Reciprocal Exchange component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship provides U.S. professionals with the opportunity to engage in collaborative projects with Fellowship Alumni in Sub-Saharan Africa, building upon strategic partnerships and professional connections developed during the Fellowship. The Reciprocal Exchange encourages U.S. experts and leaders to collaborate with African Fellows on critical issues, such as promoting peace, stability, and economic prosperity while contributing to U.S. public diplomacy efforts and strengthening mutual understanding between the United States and Africa.
Current Open Applications
- Reciprocal Exchange – Applications due September 22, 2023
- American Impact Award – Rolling applications
Reciprocal Exchange Participants (2015-2022)
Having the chance to participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange [component] was a life-changing experience for me. This project challenged me to be innovative and take initiative in developing new skills that can have a positive impact on a global community.”Tanikka Mitchell, 2017 Reciprocal Exchange Participant, after collaborating with Nkechi Udegboka, 2016 Fellowship Alumna, in Nigeria
Reciprocal Exchanges enable U.S. businesspeople, industry experts, and organizations to collaborate with Fellowship Alumni across the continent on projects of mutual benefit to U.S. and African communities.
U.S. professionals may include those met during the Mandela Washington Fellowship through site visits, networking, the Summit, Professional Development Experiences, or other activities. Through these projects, U.S. citizens and young African leaders form lasting partnerships, expand markets and networks, and increase collaboration between the United States and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The [Reciprocal Exchange component of] the Mandela Washington Fellowship has changed my life in so many ways. I am now advancing my career in the U.S. in the disability sector and pursuing a Masters in Disability Studies. None of this would have happened without the [Fellowship] and the Reciprocal Exchange component.”Tom DeFayette, 2019 Reciprocal Exchange Participant, after collaborating with Moffat Louis, 2014 Fellowship Alumnus, in Botswana
Top Project Sectors
Learn more about:
- How Reciprocal Exchange Participants can continue, expand, or deepen the local impact of their Reciprocal Exchange projects through the American Impact Award.
- How U.S. Participants are amplifying the impact of their Reciprocal Exchanges through projects funded by the American Impact Award.
- How U.S. Participants have leveraged the Reciprocal Exchange component to increase opportunities for their business in the United States.
- How previous projects have expanded access to sports for people with disabilities in Africa.
- How U.S. Participants and Fellowship Alumni Collaborators are continuing to leverage their collaborations and garner recognition.