Apply Now: Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders 2014.

Application Deadline: January 27 2014

The Obama Administration’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.  Nearly one in three Africans are between the ages of 10 and 24, and approximately 60 percent of Africa’s total population is below the age of 35.  President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

The Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the new flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.


Eligibility Criteria

Competition for the Washington Fellowship  is merit-based and open to young African leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application submission, although exceptional  applicants younger than 25 will be considered;
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S;
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English; and
  • Are citizens and residents of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Individuals residing in the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar,  Sudan, and Zimbabwe may not apply to the public management track. Residents of Sudan may only apply for  the Civic Leadership track.

There is no fee to apply to the Washington Fellowship. If you are selected, the U.S. government will cover all participant costs.

Financial provisions provided by the U.S. Government will include:

  •  J-1 visa support;
  • Round-trip travel from fellow’s home city to the U.S. and other required travel;
  • Customized academic and leadership institute;
  • Concluding Presidential Summit in Washington, DC;
  • Accident and sickness benefit plan;
  • Housing and meals; and
  • A potential eight-week internship at the conclusion of the academic and leadership institute (optional, and competitive for approximately 100 slots).

The Washington Fellowship includes:

  • A 6-week Academic and Leadership Institute: Fellows are placed at U.S. colleges and universities for  academic institutes. Institutes will focus on skills development in one of three areas: Business and  Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, or Public Management. Institutes will take place from mid-June  to late July 2014.
  • A Summit with President Obama in Washington, DC: At the conclusion of the academic and  leadership institute, all Fellows will participate in a Presidential Summit. The Summit will take place  in late July 2014.
  • An optional 8-week U.S. Internship: As part of the Fellowship application, individuals may apply to receive practical training at a U.S. business, civil society organization, or public agency in the United  States. Approximately 100 Washington Fellows will be selected for U.S.-based internships. The U.S.  internships will take place in August and September 2014.
  • Activities in Africa: Fellows will have the opportunity for continued networking opportunities,  ongoing professional development, access to seed funding, and community service activities upon  their return home after the Fellowship.


  • January 27, 2014 Application deadline
  • February-March 2014 Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates
  • April 2014 Applicants are notified of their status
  • May 2014 Visa processing for finalists
  • Mid-June 2014 Fellowship starts in the United States

Apply Now for the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Young African Leaders Programme

Required Documents



  1. The Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders will strengthen the sense of confidence around the communities where we come from since the sense of leadership will be inspired.The fellowship will not only be advantageous to the participant but also will have positive impact our nation we come from.Taking an example of my country (Tanzania) which has a number of resources but is in the list of poorest countries because of poor leadership in our community where the resources is available.Therefore through the fellowship which I am sure that I will be participant and as representative from Tanzania will make me have an opportunity to engage much on the four pillars which President Obama signed for the spur of the development in Sub-Saharan African states.The pillars mentioned by President Obama such as 1.Strengthen democratic institution,2. Spur economic growth trade and investment,3. advance peace and security and4. Promote opportunity and development as U.S has strategy on us.Therefore will be very advantageous.

  2. African youths and future leaders have got a great opportunity to transform the African continent. The US brings us a ray of hope since they share a lot in common with African states. They were also at one point colonized, the only difference being that they got independence much earlier. This explains their current economic muscle. They went through the same stages a former colony goes through to attain economic independence coupled with true democracy. So there’s a lot to learn from the USA. As an African from Uganda, this is a great opportunity for some of us who earnestly desire to see true democracy, economic dev’t, peace, tranquility and equality prevail in our country and generally in Africa.

  3. I think this is a positive initiative that will help in the transformation of the African continent. Thinking of the numerous problems that young brains like ours can solve but the lack of economic, financial and political support impedes the development our continent. This summit will definitely serve as an eye opener…

  4. As African young leaders we really appreciate this educative initiative. This is a stepping stone to effective and efficient leadership training which will be so beneficial to us as the future leaders for the transformation and transitional good leadership attributes for economical, social,financial,economical,regional and continental development.

  5. it is a great opportinuty for the Young african to be some leaders in the future and help their country to go ahead lot of thank to president obama

  6. It’s a greatest golden chance for the young expected leader of Africa. But the required qualifications (prerequisites) are somehow discrimitative according to the Afican continent culture. Any person from any professional may join in this program, for example teaching. We Africans, we had Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere who became the father of The Nation, Tanzania, but his professional prerequisite was teaching. The program should not consider nature, but also nature. Thanks.

  7. This is the great chance for african young leaders becouse the main problem in Africa is the leadership. Therefore, this fellowship contribute it’s own roll for the transformation and development of Africa. I would like to thank president Barack Obama.

  8. We the hopeful young African leaders are gratefully delighted for this initiative of Mr.Obama to translate the modern leading ability to the African of this recent generation .

  9. this is a great opportunity for me as an enthusiastic young African who has the leadership mindset for global impact.welldone President Obama for realisin the potentiality in Young Africans.

  10. I am Aben Melvis Anep from Cameroon,very happy with this great initative from President Obama.Creating a platform to nurtured the leadership potential in young Africa for future security for the entire globe.Good leaders will birth a prosperous nations.Thanksfor such a great vision ,Ipersonally is give in my 100% support to this great thought of President Obama.

  11. No amount of thank you will be enough because you have restored hope to African leaders by coming up with such initiative. Thank You very much President Obama. You will forever remind in our minds.

  12. it gives me a great pleasure to see such a Golden opportunity for young Africans leader like me.Many thanks to presedent Obam!!

  13. am Nides boketshu from DR congo, this program is a great opportunity for young african, it will help us to be aware of our future, to be engaged for our future generation, we must be something for africa and this is an opportunity

  14. My name is GEBREAMANUEL from Ethiopia. I am very eager to join the young African leaders training in Washington DC.

  15. Lots of thanks to President Obama and his team. This is really a good initiative. If I may ask, is this done annually?would love to apply for the upcoming one, I missed the deadline this year.

  16. This will spur growth and prosperity in the continent of African. I am a prospect applicant this year from Nigeria. I am looking forward for my notification status. Thanks to President Obama and his team for this intellectual program.

  17. my name Mohamed mursall sulub i live in Somalia I am very excited to participate in the Young African Leaders I taagereya I am a politician somalia every time I go to an hall and hiilba standing support for each side of you I’m African ad ban congratulate and thank Under

  18. Hi every one: We´re thanks the President Obama, for getting this initiative, by meetting with the New African Leader, but please let me joining and African citizen writted with the Name of Kelli Moore from Congo said, « More than six tousend peoples from his country, are already loose his future, this has been wretted by a young man that mine the African young peoples, have not looking the future with expectation, the african younger peoples seen that they have not any future, because the world are looking only on the on the african resources and have not interest for see if the economy prodused from this resources are going in the countries for they one developpement, the European, American democracy govenrment, joining already the chinesse for jumping on the blod and just taking out the good from africa.

    Please do some thin Mr Obama for avoid this politics arround the planet with Africa, the african peoples, are also humann been and if the african continent are on damage as he´s care on he will be damage for all the planet, including USA and Europe.

    Best Rgds for listened this reflextion and make it public.

  19. Great thanks to US and President Obama! I missed this opportunity this year but next year I would like to apply and pray Almighty to be enrolled in as this is my major initiative to learning more initiatives of our development as we young Africans need to be full supported for having thinking about the future development of African continent. Please, we are praying the organizers for the next year 2015 to allow the young Africans with their ages between 25 up to 40 years old only. The African youth is in delays compared to initiations which often not lack but without immediate funding they can be also delayed to see their execution.

  20. Thanks to his excellency president Obama with the first lady Micheal Obama for their effort to Young African Leaders. Although we missed to attend it this year, we shall try to participate in the next submit since our Somali Youth Voluntary Group Association(SOYVGA) based and operating in Somalia where the youth have been in civil war and conflict without basic education and lost basic live standard.

  21. Hello,
    My concern is how this OBAMA BILLIONS going to be helpful to the Youth particulary those in the Village.

  22. This is an important program for future Africa leaders to lead Africa to the right way for a better economical, social and political development. Thank you president Obama!
    God bless America.

  23. This opportunities are coming at the right time when we need great minds in Africa. Thank you Mr President for this wonderful opportunity. the African Continent need young and dynamic LEADERS.


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