Only Two Weeks Left to Apply for the 2017 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship

Only Two Weeks Left to Apply for the 2017 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship

Media Advisory
October 12, 2016

There are only two weeks left to apply for the 2017 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship and the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria invites all interested candidates in South Africa to apply for this professional development program created by President Barack Obama.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), created in 2014 to deepen the United States’ engagement with the youth of Africa.  The Fellowship has achieved success well beyond expectations in the past three years, and will once again engage up to 1,000 young leaders from all over the continent.   The program begins with six weeks of academic and leadership training at a U.S. university with a focus in one of three tracks:  Business and Entrepreneurship; Civic Leadership; or Public Management, followed by a summit in Washington, D.C. attended by business, government, and NGO leaders.  100 selected Fellows will also participate in a six-week professional development experience with an American NGO, company, or government office.

Upon returning to their home countries, Fellows continue to build their skills through support from U.S. embassies, the United States Agency for International Development, the United States African Development Foundation, and other partners.  Fellows have access to ongoing professional development opportunities, mentoring, networking and training, community service, and seed fund­ing to support their ideas, businesses, and organizations.

Today in South Africa, YALI alumni are already growing innovative businesses, forging durable networks with young leaders across Africa, and deploying freshly honed skills in their communities.  Mandela Washington Fellows hail from myriad backgrounds and from every province, but are all united in their leadership ability and commitment to South Africa’s future.  To meet these impressive alumni, visit

Young leaders should apply online at  The time-limited application period opened September 21 and closes October 26.  Participants must:

  • Be a citizen and resident of South Africa (or one of the other participating countries).
  • Speak and write proficiently in English.
  • Be 25-35 years old when the application is submitted.
  • Have a proven record of leadership and accomplishment in 1) public service, 2) business or entrepreneurship, or 3) civic engagement.
  • Demonstrate commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship.
  • Be committed to return to Africa and use their skills to serve their community.

Applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

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