Media Advisory | September 12, 2017
The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria will open the four-week application period for the 2018 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship on September 13, 2017 and invites all interested candidates in South Africa to apply for this professional development program.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the 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 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. Some selected Fellows will also participate in a six-week professional development experience with an American NGO, company, or government office.
“If you think you might be interested in applying for the 2018 YALI Mandela Washington Fellowship, go for it!” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jessye Lapenn. “Whether you are from a rural area or one of South Africa’s large metros, and no matter what sector you work in, if you envision yourself in a future leadership role in South Africa, this program will help you achieve your goals. You will gain leadership skills and develop a network of like-minded peers from South Africa and across the continent who will support you and challenge you to reach for your dreams.”
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, Mandela Washington Fellowship 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 irex.org/people/wash-fellows.
Young leaders should apply online at www.YALI.state.gov. The time-limited application period opens September 13 and closes October 11. 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.
For press inquiries or further information, please write YoungAfricanLeadersSA@state.gov.