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August 16, 2023

Looking for up to 700 Leaders!

2024 Fellowship Application Process


The Mandela Washington Fellowship is open to young African leaders who meet the following criteria:

  • Are citizens of and residents in a sub-Saharan Africanncountry
  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application submission;
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States;
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J-1 visa;
  • Are not employees or immediate family members of employees of the U.S. Government;
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English;
  • Are not Alumni of the Mandela Washington Fellowship

Selection of finalists from all eligible countries may be subject to review in response to local, national, or global events that impact the ability to conduct program activities.

What are the criteria for selection?

  • A proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service, business, and/or civic engagement;
  • A demonstrated commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship
  • The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and respect the opinions of others;
  • Strong social and communication skills;
  • An energetic, positive, and flexible attitude;
  • Demonstrated knowledge, interest, and professional experience in the preferred Fellowship track and concrete goals for applying knowledge and skills gained from the Fellowship to current and/or future work;
  • A commitment to return to Africa and contribute skills and talents to build and serve their communities.

The Application

The application will collect basic information and will include questions regarding applicants’ professional and  academic experience including professional background,
educational background, honors and awards received, extracurricular and volunteer activities, and English language proficiency. As part of the application, applicants will also be asked to provide written responses to personal statements (essay questions). Additional elements, such as letters of recommendation or university transcripts, are OPTIONAL and may supplement your application.

Application Timeline

August 15, 2023: Application Opens
September 12, 2023: Application Closes
November – January 2024: Semifinalists interviewed by local U.S. embassies and consulates
March 2024: Applicants are notified of their status
May 2024: Visa processing and pre-Fellowship orientations for Finalists
June 2024: Fellowship begins in the United States

Visit MWFellows.Info/Apply for more information about the application process.