About YALI

Due to concerns and recommendations regarding COVID-19, the Mandela Washington Fellowship will be virtual in 2021.

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 that are selected to participate have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries.

For the sixth year, IIB and Iowa JPEC welcomed 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from Sub-Saharan African countries to the University of Iowa to the 2021 virtual program. To learn more about our program, watch the video to the right. 

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org and join the conversation at #YALI2021.

View past years of the program      

2021 Program facts

Across the nation

  • 49 Sub-Saharan countries
  • 3 Tracks (Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, and Public Management)
  • 25 Host Universities & Colleges
  • 700 Fellows selected
  • 38,000+ Program Applicants each year

University of Iowa program

  • 25 Fellows
  • 18 Countries represented
  • 15 male, 10 female
  • Business & Entrepreneurship focus
  • Non-profit & for profit projects
  • Fellows' interests include: Agriculture & Agribusiness, Business, IT, Education, Community Development, Women/Girls Issues, Children & Youth, Health & Medical Issues, Media, and more

Meet the fellows