Mandela Washington Fellowship

The Mandela Washington Fellowships provide young leaders the opportunity to learn leadership skills that they can take back to their countries and put into action.

Scholarship Summary
Level: n/a Institution(s): Participating schools in USA
Location: USA Field(s): Business, Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, Public Management, Energy
Target: Africans Deadline(s): usually November

This fellowship is conducted as a merit-based open competition.

It is a program instituted by President Obama which includes the following:

  • A six-week Academic and Leadership Institute whereby Fellows are placed at U.S. colleges and universities with a focus on skills development in one of three areas: Business and Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, or Public Management.
  • A Summit with the U.S President in Washington, DC at the conclusion of the academic and leadership institute
  • An optional six-week Professional Development Experience
  • Networking opportunities, ongoing professional development, seed funding, and volunteer opportunities

Financial support is given towards the following:

  • Visa;
  • Round-trip travel from fellow’s home city to the U.S. and travel as required by the program;
  • Accident and sickness benefit plan;
  • Housing during the program;
  • meals during the program.


To be considered for the award, candidates must:

  • be between the ages of 25 and 35
  • not be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States
  • not be employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. government;
  • proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English
  • be citizens (and/or resident) of one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, 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, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe;

How to Apply

Applications are online and must be received by the deadline, usually by November. All eligible applications will be reviewed by a selection panel. Following this review, chosen semi-finalists will be interviewed by the U.S. embassies or consulates in their home countries. 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

Please visit the Official Website for tips on applying and for more information on the application process.


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