Mandela Washington Fellowship is an exceptional opportunity for young African leaders to enhance their skills and become empowered to lead in their sectors and communities. In the summer of 2024, up to 700 fellows will be brought to the United States for a comprehensive executive-style program.
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During this fellowship, participants will:
- Engage in a six-week Leadership Institute at a renowned U.S. college or university, where they can share experiences and learn from U.S. citizens and other fellows.
- Expand their expertise by exploring industries beyond their everyday work.
- Attend a Summit with other young African leaders.
- Connect with U.S. Government, civic, and business leaders.
- Strengthen their work through new connections, skills, and innovative ideas.
- Join a continental and global Alumni Network to collaborate on finding solutions to common challenges.
Application and Selection Timeline:
- August 15, 2023: Application opens.
- September 12, 2023: Application deadline.
- November 2023 – January 2024: Semi-finalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates.
- March 2024: Applicants notified of their status.
- May 2024: Visa processing and Pre-Departure Orientations for Finalists.
- June 2024: Fellowship begins in the United States.
Application and Selection Process:
The Mandela Washington Fellowship selection process is a merit-based open competition.
Independent readers will review all eligible applications, followed by interviews conducted by U.S. embassies or consulates in the home countries of chosen semi-finalists within Africa.
Finalists must participate in an in-person interview and provide necessary identification documents.
They are also required to attend a mandatory Pre-Fellowship Orientation in their home country within Africa.
Applicants from any race, color, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity are welcome.
To apply for the fellowship, candidates must:
- Be between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application deadline (exceptional applicants aged 21-24 will be considered).
- Not be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
- Be eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa.
- Not be employees or immediate family members of U.S. Government entities.
- Possess proficient reading, writing, and speaking skills in English (additional guidance for deaf applicants will be provided).
- Be citizens and residents of one of the specified countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Not be Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.
Note: Fellows are not allowed to bring dependents, including spouses and children, during the fellowship.
The following criteria will be considered during the evaluation of applications:
- Demonstrated leadership and accomplishments in business, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, or public/government service.
- Commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship.
- Ability to work harmoniously in diverse groups and respect others’ opinions.
- Strong social and communication skills.
- Energetic, positive, and flexible attitude.
- Knowledge, interest, and professional experience in the preferred sector/Fellowship track, with clear goals for applying lessons, knowledge, and skills to current and future work.
- Commitment to return to Sub-Saharan Africa and contribute skills and talents to community building and service.
Take note that the Mandela Washington Fellowship is a life-transforming opportunity to grow as a leader and make a meaningful impact in your community and beyond.