The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (MWF) is the flagship of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Its purpose is to empower young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. In 2016, the Fellowship will provide 1, 000 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Sahara Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. collge or university with support for professional development after they return home. Host institutes focus on leadership and skills development in one of three tracks: Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, or Public Management. For the first time, the 2016 MWF will include a pilot institute focused on Energy.
Applicants for the Mandela Washington Fellowship must be between the ages of 25 and 35 and have demonstrated accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries as well as a commitment to community service. The first two classes of Fellows represented all 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and included equal numbers of men and women.