YALI 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (Fully Funded to the United States of America)

Application Deadline: October 9, 2019

The Mandela Washington Fellowship will bring up to 700 young leaders to the United States in the summer of 2020 for a comprehensive executive-style program that is designed to build skills and empower Fellows to lead in their respective sectors and communities.

Eligibility Requirements:

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socio-economic 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, and other U.S. Government entities);
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English (applicants who are deaf should refer to the English Language instructions on the Resources page);
  • Are citizens and residents of eligible countries (to be announced); and
  • Are not Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.


  • Participate in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or
    university to share your experiences with and to learn from
    Americans 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.
  • Join a continental and global Alumni network to help you seek innovative solutions to common challenges.

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

  • September 12, 2019 | Application opens
  • October 9, 2019 | Application deadline
  • December 2019 – February 2020 | Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates
  • Late March 2020 | Applicants are notified of their status
  • May 2020 | Visa processing and Pre-Departure Orientations for Finalists
  • Mid-June 2020 | Fellowship begins in the United States

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship 2020


  1. my name is hilemicael kahsay I need to apply for the scholarship by masters program please contact me by email registered below.

  2. as we are refugees in Namibia Osire camp its will be fine for to fixi our futuer and to shear adias with onother as youth we will like also to hear onother youths how they work hurd for the bussiness

  3. Queria agradecer de coração aberto este projeto porque nossa continente que é Africa precisa disso em todos os dominios…Continuem facultandos ferramentas que nos ajudarão a alavancar o nosso desenvolvimento.
    Espero ter a opurtunidade de poder conseguir beneficiar duma mão vossa para que eu possa contribuir fortimento no futuro da Africa e do mundo.

  4. Hi!
    My namr is djo-cephas and i’m happy to apply in this programme of ofa.
    I leave at Drc and i’m so glade to know what will happen.
    Thank you.

  5. Timothy NIYONKURU has a DIPLOMA OF general Humanities in Arts section and language faculties; He is the son of the former. He keeps bees in the forest ,he breeds pigs and chickens in his farm.He has been a president of the youth association with the same vision for the Development and the Representative of the Top kids association;He has also been empowered vulnerable people as a volunteer of the organization called CONCERN .
    Several days ,He’s working harder in his farm and garden, growing and raising corps and animals as main duty.
    He also manage the demonstration apiary and spend most of his time running a business and serve more people to fill the gap.

  6. Good day sir or madam my name is Samuel Sunday Koroma from Sierra Leone west Africa I am interested in this program.

  7. The application date is very very short.Why?If you can please make it long.Because this is very important for us to join US.But i want to thanks you to open this opportunity for Africa youngs.

  8. i love so much this project because this project densevelop many leeder to my country and to my world so i like so much

  9. Talking about my responsibility and a little bit about my experience in the group ate now comes as a challenge and a great experience in this group after being led by me to strip my ego and to worry more about the ones led by the leader and know how to be, have patience, apprehensive, be loving caring, not lead and autocratic, self-centered and arrogant leader lead and lead a parent or accompany a counselor, motivating friend and I learn to shape myself and then move on to warn. I love them because they taught to be a leader.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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