Mandela Washington Fellowship
Fellowship for Africans to create the next generation of African leaders
Who: 25-35 (exceptional applicants ages 21-24 will be considered), Must not be a US citizen or permanent resident, Must be a citizen and resident of an eligible country*, be proficient in English, be eligible to receive a J-1 visa, Employees and affiliates of the US government are ineligible
Deadline: September 12, 2023
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a fellowship for Africans, where up to 700 young leaders will be brought to the United States in the summer of 2024 for a program that is designed to build skills and empower them to lead in their respective sectors and communities.
Selection Process and Criteria
The Mandela Washington Fellowship selection process is a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, independent readers will review all eligible applications.
Following this review, chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed by the U.S. embassies or consulates in their home countries. 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 within Africa.
What are the criteria for selection?
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.
Benefits of this fellowship for Africans
Selected fellows will get the opportunity to:
- Participate in a six-week Leadership Institute at a U.S. college or university to share your experiences with and learn from U.S. citizens and other Fellows.
- Explore industries beyond your daily work and expand your expertise.
- Participate in a Summit with young African leaders.
- Meet with U.S. Government, civic, and business leaders.
- Strengthen your work through new connections, skills, and ideas.
- Join a continental and global Alumni Network to help you seek innovative 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
*To be eligible for this fellowship, you must be a citizen or resident of one of the following African countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 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, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, or Zimbabwe
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