The Center for Integrative Leadership hosts 25 of Africa's brightest emerging leaders this summer for a six-week academic and leadership institute, made possible through the Mandela Washington Fellowship.

Group photo of fellows

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who have a proven record of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, or communities.

The 2017 cohort of 25 fellows hosted by the University of Minnesota were from Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia. They are part of a larger group of 1000 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted across the United States every summer. They represent the fields of health, youth development, planning, education, housing, public works, architecture, public relations, aviation and more.

The interdisciplinary training will focus on providing fellows the skills they need to serve as public managers and improve service to their communities. The program leverages top faculty, cutting-edge curricula, and local opportunities to impart practical professional and leadership skills. The fellows will engage with several local nonprofits and businesses, as well as Hennepin County, a partner in the first year that is eager to build upon relationships formed with year-one fellows.

About the Mandela Washington Partnership

President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they seek to encourage growth and prosperity, democratic governance, and peace and security. The last two years, the Center and the University of Minnesota was selected by the U.S. Department of State to be one of 20 host institutions that represent the excellence and diversity of U.S. higher education.

2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship Video