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Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI)

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and hosted at academic institutions across the United States. This flagship program 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.

The leadership institute empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and support for activities in their communities. The participants come from Sub-Saharan Africa and have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, or communities.

The cohort of 25 Fellows are a part of a larger group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows being hosted across the United States. At the conclusion of the BSU program, select fellows will receive hands-on experience through a six-week placement with U.S. companies, organizations, and government agencies.

In the News...

Learning to Lead
The Minnock Institute for Global Engagement coordinated activities as BSU welcomed fellows to campus for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mandela Washington fellows welcomed  
“It is tremendously rewarding to work with this group of young African leaders through a well-rounded institute focusing on leadership development and public management,” Wing-kai To, assistant provost for Global Engagement and senior international officer at BSU, told The PIE News.

Attleboro court officials, lawyers play host to Mandela Fellows as part of US program  
Probation officers in Attleboro District Court got to play host to over two dozen young leaders from several African countries Wednesday under a federal government program designed to show off the court system and enhance ties. 

Bridgewater State University to Host 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders
Bridgewater State University is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, BSU will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Public Management leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Please contact with any questions.

Past Mandela Washington Fellows smiling on the Boyden Quad on a sunny day
BSU Staffers at the MWF Check In
Mandela Fellows smile for a photo


The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IREX. Bridgewater State University is a sub-grantee of IREX and is supporting the U.S.-based academic program of the Fellowship.

Dept. of State