Attention Young Leaders: Apply now for the Mandela Washington Fellowship!

The U.S. Embassy in Mali is pleased to announce that the application for the Mandela Washington Fellowship program, also known as YALI / the Young African Leaders Initiative, is now open. Interested young leaders may apply until the application closing date of October 10, 2018 by submitting an application online at: https://yali.state.gov/mwf/apply/

Participants in the Mandela Washington Fellowship program take part in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university in one of three tracks: Business, Civic Engagement, or Public Management. The intensive model includes academic sessions, site visits, professional networking opportunities, leadership training, community service, and organized cultural activities. Upon returning to their home countries, Fellows continue to build the skills they develop during their time in the United States through support from U.S. embassies, four Regional Leadership Centers, the YALI Network, and customized programming from USAID, the Department of State, and affiliated partners.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is 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 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 consult the Application Instructions for more information.
  • Are citizens and residents of one 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, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is conducted as a merit-based open competition. After the October 10 deadline, all eligible applications will be reviewed by independent readers. Following this review, chosen semifinalists will be interviewed by the U.S. embassies or consulates in their home countries. If selected for an interview, applicants must provide a copy of their passport (if available) or other government-issued photo identification to verify eligibility.