U.S. Embassy launches the application of the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

The U.S Embassy Public Affairs Officer in Antananarivo, Mr. Luke Zahner, officially announced the opening of the application for the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). The Mandela Washington Fellowship, which began in 2014, will bring 1000 young leaders to the United States in the summer of 2016 for leadership training and academic course work in renowned U.S. universities. These experiences will create unique opportunities for Fellows, and allow them to bring new skills in Africa for leading their organizations, communities, and countries. Upon their return to their home countries, the Mandela Washington Fellows will have access to professional development, networking, continued mentorship and training.

President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders across the continent.   In 2014 and 2015, 500 fellows have been chosen to travel to the United States each year; the program is doubling in size this year.  To date, thirteen Fellows from Madagascar and six from the Comoros have participated in the program. They are part of a dynamic and diverse group of young leaders who are making significant contributions in the areas of civic leadership, government, and business. They travelled to the United States to attend summits in Washington, D.C. hosted by President Barack Obama and participated in a six-week program at some of America’s most prestigious colleges and universities.  Some have also been selected for an optional six -week U.S. Internship with American companies.

Technical Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants:

  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application submission;
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent resident of the United States;
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English;
  • Are citizens of Madagascar and residents of Madagascar or the Comoros;
  • Are not alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship

Selection Process

The Mandela Fellowship selection process is a merit-based open competition. After the deadline, all eligible application 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

October 1, 2015 Application submission begins
November 14, 2015 Application deadline
January-February 2016 Interview of semi-finalists at U.S. Embassy
March 2016 Candidates are notifed about their status
April-May 2016 Visa process for successful candidates
Mid-june 2016 Fellowship starts in the U.S.


Application Instructions

The Mandela Washington Fellowship uses an Internet-based application system. You will need access to a computer or cell phone with internet access to apply.

To apply, or for addition information, please visit https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov.