Mandela Washington Fellowship

About the Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies President Obama’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa. The first class of Mandela Washington Fellows arrived in June 2014 for six weeks of intensive executive leadership training, networking, and skills building, followed by a Presidential Summit in Washington, D.C. Through this initiative, young African leaders are gaining the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa. Selected Mandela Washington Fellows should be prepared for an academically and professionally challenging program.

The Fellowship is designed to encourage and foster the ingenuity, confidence, passion, and commitment of the next generation of African leaders. It offers young leaders an unparalleled opportunity to meet and share ideas with some of America’s dedicated leaders from community organizers to the President of the United States. The Mandela Washington Fellowship will challenge preconceived ideas and open new horizons for those who embrace the experience. Through this Initiative, the U.S. will bring over 1000 young leaders to thirty-seven U.S. universities each year for leadership training in three vital areas: public management and administration; business and entrepreneurship; and civic leadership.

At Northwestern, we annually host twenty-five of these leaders for a Business and Entrepreneurship Institute. This Institute is a collaborative project of the Program of African Studies and the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, marking the first time these two programs have worked together. A joint effort with the Department of State, USAID, and USADF, we have designed a program that will allow burgeoning African entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from Northwestern's accredited scholars and professionals as well as participate in various site visits featuring Chicago-based non-profits, startups, and other organizations. After this Institute, fellows will have the practical knowledge as well as hands-on experience to begin/continue positively impacting their respective communities and countries.

Additional information on the Mandela Washington Fellowship program.

YALI infographic 2016

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