Applications are being received for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The Fellowship brings young leaders to the United States for academic coursework and leadership training and creates unique opportunities for Fellows and U.S. citizens to collaborate as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa and the United States. The Fellowship will bring up to 700 young leaders to the United States in the summer of 2024. The Fellowship includes:
A six-week Leadership Institute: Fellows are placed in groups of 25 at leading educational institutions across the United States in both urban and rural areas that represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. Institutes will focus on skills development in one of three tracks: Leadership in Business, Leadership in Civic Engagement, or Leadership in Public Management. The intensive six-week model uses leadership development as the framework to create links between academic sessions, a strengths-based Common Leadership Curriculum, site visits, community service, and cultural activities.
A Summit in Washington, D.C.: At the conclusion of the Leadership Institutes, all Fellows will participate in a high-level Summit. Through a variety of sessions, Fellows will have the opportunity to network with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
An optional four-week Professional Development Experience: As part of the Fellowship application, individuals may apply to participate in a Professional Development Experience (PDE) at a U.S. NGO, business, or government agency. The PDE is designed to provide Fellows with practical training and the opportunity to learn transferable skills, expand their professional networks, and apply concepts learned at their Institutes to real-world situations in the U.S. context. Selected Fellows must be available to be in the United States for a total of approximately 11 weeks.
Opportunities for Alumni: Fellows will have access to networking opportunities, ongoing professional development, and volunteer opportunities upon their return home after the Fellowship. Leveraging Innovations in New Communities (LINC) Grants allow selected Alumni across cohort years, sectors, and regions to travel to each other’s organizations or communities or collaborate virtually to learn from each other’s best practices and expertise. Reciprocal Exchanges provide U.S. citizens with opportunities to engage in collaborative projects with Fellowship Alumni, building upon strategic partnerships and professional connections developed during the Fellowship program.
- Host Institution: Leadership Institutes in the United States of America.
- Study field: Leadership.
- Duration: Varies.
- Number of Awards: up to 700.
- Target group: Please find the full list below.
Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africans Benefits
There is no fee to apply to the Mandela Washington fellowship. If you are selected for the Fellowship, the U.S. Government will cover all program costs. Selected candidates will be provided with the following benefits:
- J-1 visa support;
- Round-trip travel from Fellow’s home city to the United States and domestic U.S. travel as required by the program. Fellows must fly out of their home country in Africa to the United States;
- A six-week Leadership Institute;
- A concluding Summit in Washington, D.C.;
- A limited accident and sickness benefit plan;
- Housing and meals during the program; and;
- An optional four-week Professional Development Experience (for up to 100 Fellows).
Note : The U.S. Department of State, IREX, Institutes, and/or PDE Hosts will not provide funds to cover Fellows’ salaries while they are away from work or funds for personal purchases, such as support for Fellows’ home organizations or gifts for family.
This America opportunity program is open to citizens of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, 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, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africans Eligibility
The Mandela Washington Fellowship does not discriminate against applicants because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, socio-economic status, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected characteristic as established by U.S. law. The Fellowship is committed to fairness, equity, and inclusion. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders who are:
- between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application submission, although exceptional applicants ages 21-24 will be considered;
- not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
- eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
- 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);
- proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English (applicants who are deaf should check the official website for more guidance);
- citizens of one of the eligible countries (Please find the full list above);
- residents of one of the above countries; and
- not Alumni or prior participants of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Note : Fellows are not allowed to have dependents, including spouses and children, accompany them during the Fellowship. The U.S. Department of State and IREX reserve the right to verify all information included in the application. In the event of a discrepancy, or if the information is found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant ineligible.
- AAUW International Fellowships for Women;
- NTHU International Student Scholarship to study in Taiwan;
- Government of the Czech Republic Scholarships.
How to Apply for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africans
Eligible applicants who would like to apply for this North America opportunity should click on the apply button below and follow instructions to submit their applications. The online application system works in low-bandwidth environments and can be used on non-Apple and non-Android devices. It is also accessible and compatible with screen readers for applicants who are blind or have low vision.
- You do not have to finish your application in one session. You may save your work and return to complete your application as many times as necessary. Once you have submitted your application, however, you can no longer add any additional information or make any changes. All information and documents must be uploaded before your final submission. Be sure to carefully check your entire application and confirm that any supplemental documents uploaded correctly.
- All application questions must be answered in English and must be completed without any aid or assistance from any technological tools (including, but not limited to, translation services, editing software, and artificial intelligence tools). All answers in the application, including written responses to essays and optional PDE questions, must be your own original work.
- All fields marked with a red asterisk (*) must be completed.
- All answers in the application, including written responses to essays and optional PDE questions, must be your own original work. Using language copied from other Fellowship applications (including other applicants’, your own submissions from previous years, or those of Fellowship Alumni) or other sources (including websites) is considered plagiarism and will result in your application being disqualified.
The deadline to submit applications is September 12, 2023. For more details on the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young Africans, please visit the official page. To be the first to see latest opportunities, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.