About YALI

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 third year, Iowa JPEC welcomes 25 Mandela Washington Fellows from Sub-Saharan African countries to the University of Iowa to partake in the 2018 program. The program will be held from June 20 - July 29, 2018.

View past years of program      

2018 Program facts

Across the nation

  • 49 Sub-Saharan countries
  • 4 Tracks (Business & Entrepreneurship, Civic Leadership, Public Management, & a special Institute for Energy)
  • 38 Host Universities & Colleges
  • 700 Fellows selected
  • 64,000+ Program applicants

University of Iowa program

  • 25 Fellows
  • 20 Countries represented
  • 12 women, 13 men
  • 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 2018 Fellows will be visiting 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. 

Meet our 2018 fellows

Get Involved

There are several ways to get connected with the Fellows. Please check out the opportunities below to see how you can help contribute to the program.

MWF mentor

Pair up with a Fellow and help guide them throughout the program. Enjoy their fresh ideas, and help them network!

MWF host a meal

Help the Fellows experience Iowan hospitality! For one night of the fellowship, generous hosts, like yourself, welcome Fellows into their homes to enjoy a meal together.