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 build upon strategic partnerships and professional connections developed during the Mandela Washington Fellowship in the United States by traveling to sub-Saharan Africa to continue collaborative work with Fellowship Alumni.  Since 2015, Americans from 35 states and the District of Columbia have traveled to 41 countries in Africa for 209 Reciprocal Exchange projects.

Reciprocal Exchange Participants (2015-2019)

A map of the United States that highlights the states of Americans who have participated in Reciprocal Exchanges since 2015.
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.”   

Tanikka Mitchell, 2017 Reciprocal Exchange Participant, Northwestern University, after collaborating with Nkechi Udegboka, 2016 Fellowship Alumna, 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.” 

Latisha Bracy, 2017 Reciprocal Exchange Participant, Doctoral Candidate at Wilmington University, after collaborating with Lame Olebile, 2016 Fellowship Alumna in Botswana