Young African Leaders are welcomed to apply for the YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship. It is a great opportunity for Africans. Through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking, the program empowers young people. The candidates who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of achievement in promoting innovation and positive change in their institutions, organizations, communities, and countries.

Award Type: Fellowship

Application Timeline: Opens 18th August, 2021

Eligible Countries: Sub-Saharan African nations

Location: U.S.A

Number of Awardees: About 700

Eligibility for YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship

To be eligible for YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, applicants must satisfy the requirements below:

  • Candidates will not be discriminated based on their race, color, gender, socio-economic status, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The opportunity is open to emerging African leaders who satisfy the following criteria:
    • Applicant between the ages of 25 and 35 on or before the application deadline are eligible, although outstanding individuals between ages of 21-24 will also be considered.
    • Individuals who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States are eligible to apply.
    • They are eligible to get a United States J-1 visa.
    • Interested individual are not staffs or direct family members of staffs of the U.S. Government (including a U.S. embassy or consulate, USAID, and other U.S. Government entities).
    • Applicants are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English (applicants who are deaf should refer to the English Language instructions on the Resources page).
    • Applicants must be citizens of one of the following nations: 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, Nigeria, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Senegal, Somalia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
    • Applicants should be residents of one of the above nations.
    • Interested individuals should not be Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

NB: Fellows are not allowed to have dependents, as well as spouses and children, accompany them during the Fellowship. The U.S. Department of State and IREX holds the right to authenticate all information included in the application.  In the occasion of a discrepancy, or if details are found to be false, the application will immediately be declared invalid and the applicant unqualified.

Benefits of YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship

Beneficiaries of YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship will be offered the benefits below:

  1. There won’t be a fee to apply. If picked, the U.S. government will fund all partakers expenses. Financial provisions provided by the U.S. Government will include:
    • J-1 visa support.
    • Paid trip from Fellow’s home city to the U.S. and domestic U.S. travel as required by the program.
    • A six-week academic and leadership institute.
    • Concluding Summit in Washington, DC.
    • Accident and sickness benefit plan.
    • Housing and meals during the program.
    • An optional six-week Professional Development Experience (for up to 100 Fellows).
    • NB: Fellowship will not pay salary while beneficiaries are away from work or funds for personal purchases such as gifts.
  2. Mandela Washington Fellows will also have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentoring, networking and training, and support for their ideas, businesses, and organizations.

YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship – How to Apply

To Apply for YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, please follow the guidelines below:

  • Download the 2020 Fellowship Application Instructions.
  • It is important to visit the official website (link below) for comprehensive details on how to apply.

The YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship selection procedure is a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all qualified submissions will be revised by a selection panel. Subsequent to this review, selected semifinalists will be interviewed by the U.S. embassies or consulates in their home countries. Selection panels will utilize the following criteria to evaluate submissions (not in order of importance)

The following conditions will be utilized to evaluate submissions (not in order of importance):

  • A verified record of leadership and achievement in business, civic engagement, or public service.
  • An established dedication to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship.
  • The ability to to respect the opinions of others and work cooperatively in diverse groups.
  • Solid social and communication skills.
  • An enthusiastic, optimistic attitude.
  • An established knowledge of, interest in, and professional experience in the preferred sector/track.
  • A dedication to go back to Africa and apply leadership skills and training to benefit the candidate’s country and/or community after they return home.

To inquire further about YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, please visit the official website.

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