The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)  provides members with invaluable opportunities to connect with other leaders in their community and to learn from experts in their field. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, started in 2014, is the flagship YALI program that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking. The Fellows have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries. Check out this video for a sneak peek into the 2016 Fellowship program at University of Iowa.

View 2017 program info

2016 Program facts

Across the nation

  • 49 Sub-Saharan countries
  • 4 Tracks (Civic Leadership, Business & Entrepreneurship, Public Management, & a special Institute for Energy)
  • 37 Host Universities & Colleges
  • 1,000 Fellows selected
  • 40,000+ Program applicants

University of Iowa program

  • 25 Fellows
  • 18 Countries represented
  • 11 women, 14 men
  • Business & Entrepreneurship focus
  • Non-profit & for profit projects
  • Fellows' interests include: Agriculture & Agribusiness, Business, IT, Education, Community Development, Women/Girls Issues, Children & Youth, and more


Meet the fellows