2 October 2015
Young African leaders who are interested in gaining skills training in the United States, are encouraged to apply for the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, opened in 2014, is the flagship programme of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (Yali). The latter seeks to empower young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.
Yali was launched in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. According to its website, applications for the fellowship are open from 1 to 31 October. Those who apply must have leadership qualities and demonstrate knowledge, interest and professional experience in public service, business and entrepreneurship, or civic engagement.
These young leaders must also have the desire to plough back into the continent what they have learned abroad.
Watch former Fellows talk about how the initiative has changed their lives:
The Fellows, who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organisations, institutions, communities, and countries. In 2015, Fellows represented all 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa; half of them were women, and it was the first time 76% of them spent substantial time in the US.
Academic and leadership institutes
Each Mandela Washington Fellow takes part in a six-week academic and leadership institute at a US university or college in one of three tracks: business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership, or public management. In 2016, there will be a pilot institute on energy.
Following the academic component of the fellowship, the Fellows visit Washington DC for a presidential summit featuring a town hall with Obama. During the three-day event, Fellows take part in networking and panel discussions with US leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Professional development experience
Following these components, 100 Fellows are selected to remain in the US to participate in a six-week professional development experience programme with US non-governmental organisations, private companies, and governmental agencies that relate to their professional interests and goals.
Watch how Fellows work in partnership with international companies to bring change:
For more information on this initiative, read more here.
Source: YoungAfricanLeadersInitiative and SAinfo reporter