Reciprocal Exchanges

RE Awardee Mallory Smith operates a sewing machine with 2016 Fellow Epamba Comfort.
Mallory Smith of New York collaborated with 2016 Fellow Epamba Comfort on a project to create jobs for rural women in Cameroon.

The Reciprocal Exchange component provides Americans with the opportunity to travel to Africa to build upon strategic partnerships and professional connections developed during the Mandela Washington Fellowship in the United States.  The Reciprocal Exchange component provides opportunities for American professionals to travel to sub-Saharan African countries to continue collaborative work with Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni on the continent.  Since 2015, Americans from 35 states and the District of Columbia have traveled to 41 countries in Africa for 209 Reciprocal Exchange projects.

The application period for the Reciprocal Exchange component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is now closed. Learn more about the Reciprocal Exchange Award.

U.S. map illustrating that since 2015, Americans from 35 states and the District of Columbia have participated in the Reciprocal Exchange component.
Since 2015, Americans from 35 states and the District of Columbia have participated in the Reciprocal Exchange component.

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.”   

2017 Reciprocal Exchange Awardee Tanikka Mitchell, Northwestern University, after collaborating with 2016 Fellow Nkechi Udegboka in Nigeria 

American 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, Americans and young African leaders form lasting partnerships, expand markets and networks, and increase mutual understanding between the United States and countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Learn more about the Americans selected for 2019 Reciprocal Exchange Awards.

The [Mandela Washington] Fellowship and the Reciprocal [Exchange] program are both remarkable…opportunities to connect and create lasting relationships with like-minded professionals in African nations.  We truly live in a global society and offering[s] such as [the Fellowship] are essential to connecting people across continents in meaningful ways.” 

2017 Reciprocal Exchange Awardee Latisha Bracy, Doctoral Candidate at Wilmington University, after collaborating with 2016 Fellow Lame Olebile in Botswana