Call for Applications: The Mandela Washington Fellowship 2024

The call for applications is currently open for the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, courtesy of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

The Mandela Washington Fellowship selection process is a merit-based open competition.  After the deadline, independent readers will review all eligible applications. Selected semi-finalists will be required to participate in these in-person interviews in their home country in Africa.  If advanced to the semi-finalist round, applicants must provide a copy of their international passport (if available) or other government-issued photo identification at the time of the interview.  Selected Finalists are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Fellowship Orientation in their home country in Africa.

Starting Date: June 2024


The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is fully funded.

Additionally, the fellowship is an unparalleled opportunity for candidates to:

  • Participate in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university to share experiences with and learn from U.S. citizens and other Fellows.
  • Explore industries beyond their daily work and expand their expertise.
  • Participate in a Summit with young African leaders.
  • Meet with U.S. Government, civic, and business leaders.
  • Strengthen their work through new connections, skills, and ideas.
  • Join a continental and global Alumni Network to help them seek innovative solutions to common challenges.


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;
  • 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.
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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 or entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and/or public/government 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, and flexible attitude;
  • ​A demonstrated knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in the preferred sector/Fellowship track and concrete goals for applying lessons knowledge and skills gained from the Fellowship to current and/or future work; and 
  • ​A commitment to return to Sub-Saharan Africa and contribute skills and talents to build and serve their communities.

Application Process

For detailed information on how apply for the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2024, click here

Deadline: September 12, 2023.

For more information on Call for Applications: The Mandela Washington Fellowship 2024, visit the official site.

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