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Meet the Fellows

The Mandela Washington Fellowship has brought nearly 5,100 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States for academic and leadership training.

The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished innovators and leaders in their communities and countries. Fellowship Alumni continue to build the skills and connections developed during the program through access to ongoing professional development, networking, and collaboration opportunities with support from the U.S. Department of State and affiliated partners.

Fellowship Alumni Fast Facts

  • Fellows come from all 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 44% of Fellows own a business, and 36% run a non-profit
  • From 2016 to 2019, Fellows contributed more than 39,000 hours of community service to U.S. organizations and social services.
  • One-third of 2019 Fellows had professional contacts in the United States prior to the Fellowship. After the program, 75% had plans to collaborate with U.S. citizens. 

2018 Mandela Washington Fellow at a Fourth of July Parade  2018 Mandela Washington Fellows visiting the Greater Des Moines Partnership

2018 Mandela Washington Fellows meeting Drake President Marty Martin  2018 Mandela Washington Fellows volunteering at Meals from the Heartland

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