About YALI

Due to concerns and recommendations regarding COVID-19, the Mandela Washington Fellowship will not occur in 2020.  IIB will be implementing supplemental virtual programming for Alumni in its place.

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, and 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 fourth year, Iowa JPEC welcomed 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from Sub-Saharan African countries to the University of Iowa to partake in the 2019 program. To learn more about our program, watch the video to the right. 

View past years of program      

2019 Program facts

Across the nation

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

University of Iowa program

  • 25 Fellows
  • 19 Countries represented
  • 13 male, 11 female, 1 non-binary
  • 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

About the UI Fellowship program

MWF Company Visit

Company Visits

The MWF program provides Fellows the opportunity to visit different companies during their time in Iowa City. These visits will allow them to gain real-world applications and experiences of various aspects of business. To find out more about the companies our 2019 Fellows will be visiting click here.


Entrepreneurship Training

During the MWF program, the Fellows are provided with the opportunity to complete an accelerated version of Iowa JPEC's Venture School program. Venture School is statewide Iowa program for young companies that helps them accelerate through startup process. To learn more about Venture School, click here.


Hear from our past Fellows

Read past Fellows testimonials on their experiences in the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Hear about their favorite parts of the program, what they learned, and where they are now. 

Volunteer to be a mentor

We are still looking for experienced professionals to assist in mentoring our 2019 Fellows. Please fill out the form linked below if you are interested.

Mentor a Fellow

Meet the fellows