YALI 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (Fully Funded to the United States of America)

Application Deadline: September 15, 2021

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Since 2014, nearly 5,100 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries. In 2022, the Fellowship will provide 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university with support for professional development after they return home.

The Fellowship is an unparalleled opportunity to…

  • Participate in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university to share your experiences with and learn from U.S. citizens and other Fellows.
  • Explore industries beyond your daily work and expand your expertise.
  • Attend a Summit with young African leaders in Washington, D.C.
  • Meet with U.S. Government, civic, and business leaders.
  • Strengthen your work through new connections, skills, and ideas.

Eligibility

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.  The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application deadline, although exceptional applicants ages 21-24 will be considered;
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
  • Are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government (including a U.S. embassy or consulate, USAID, or other U.S. Government entity);
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English (additional guidance coming for applicants who are deaf);
  • Are citizens of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, 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, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, or Zimbabwe;
  • Are residents of one of the above countries; and
  • Are not Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Benefits

U.S.-Based Activities

Leadership Institutes: Each year, the Fellows participate in six-week Leadership Institutes, studying Business, Civic Engagement, or Public Management at U.S. colleges or universities. During their time on campus, Fellows connect with Americans and enrich local U.S. communities while sharing best practices.

Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit: After the Institutes, Fellows convene for a multi-day Summit in Washington, D.C., where they forge connections with one another and U.S. leaders from the private, public, and non-profit sectors, setting the stage for long-term engagement between the United States and Africa.

Professional Development Experience: Following the Summit, a group of competitively-selected Fellows remains in the United States for four weeks to work with private, public, and non-profit organizations. Both Fellows and Hosts benefit from discussing shared issues and challenges in their sectors, broadening their perspectives, and positioning U.S. organizations for international engagement.

Reciprocal Exchanges: Americans have the opportunity to apply to travel to Africa to collaborate on projects with Fellows, building upon connections initiated during the program. These partnerships and professional connections are intended to form lasting relationships, expand markets and networks, and increase mutual understanding.

Opportunities for Alumni: Fellows continue to build on the skills and connections developed during the program through access to ongoing professional development, networking, and collaboration opportunities with support from the U.S. Department of State and affiliated partners.

Virtual Programming: The Fellowship leverages stakeholder expertise to deliver a suite of virtual programming for selected candidates and Fellowship Alumni to support their continued leadership development and strengthen their access to networks and resources.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications (not in order of importance):

  • A proven record of leadership and accomplishment in business, civic engagement, or public service;
  • A demonstrated commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
  • The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and to respect the opinions of others;
  • Strong social and communication skills;
  • An energetic, positive attitude;
  • A demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in the preferred sector/track; and
  • A commitment to return to Africa and apply leadership skills and training to benefit the applicant’s country and/or community after they return home.

Application Timeline

  • August 18, 2021 | Application opens
  • September 15, 2021 | Application deadline
  • November 2021 – January 2022 | Semi-finalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates
  • Late March 2022 | Applicants are notified of their status
  • May 2022 | Visa processing and Pre-Departure Orientations for Finalists
  • Mid-June 2022 | Fellowship begins in the United States

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the YALI 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.