Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders


Since 2014, The University of Texas at Austin has hosted the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (MWF-YAL), the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Through this initiative, young African leaders are gaining the skills and connections they need to accelerate their own career trajectories and contribute more robustly to strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.

During their six weeks on the Forty Acres, 25 emerging entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa are immersed in a world-class Business and Entrepreneurship Institute developed in collaboration with the McCombs School of Business. This dynamic and holistic institute, made up of six components listed below, allows these young professionals to develop the skills needed to shape the future of their continent—and the world.

MWF-YAL is a program of the United States Government. It is administered by the U.S. Department of State and is supported by IREX.

The MWF – YAL Institute at UT is made up of the following components:

  • Academic Coursework
  • Site Visits to local businesses
  • Leadership Development Sessions
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Community Service
  • Cultural Activities

Community Partners:

Get Involved!

Peer Collaborator Program – Collaborate with an MWF Fellow working in your field through this one-on-one networking program.

Overnight Homestay - Host one of our MWF Fellows for a night and participate in a unique cultural exchange!

Program page - Home page for program participants

Meet the fellows - Meet this years MWF Fellows and read their biographies.

Media Mentions