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Fellows From 19 Countries Across Africa Engage in Mandela Washington Fellowship at UT

  • May 24, 2021

The University of Texas at Austin is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning June 21, UT will virtually engage 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging business leaders for a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

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 local community engagement. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across the African continent.

“We very much look forward to welcoming this year’s stellar cohort of Fellows—yet another extraordinary group of leaders who will exchange knowledge and experiences with our campus and local partners to advance their enterprises and shape the future of their countries,” said Sonia Feigenbaum, senior vice provost for global engagement and chief international officer. “Our commitment to this and other prestigious global programs is unwavering and we are eager to witness the impact of these young entrepreneurs on their communities throughout Africa.”

Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 4,400 young leaders from across 49 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals through the Fellowship. The cohort of Fellows hosted by UT will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted by 26 educational institutions across the United States.

Fellows will connect with local partners in a wide range of industries, such as renewable energy, fashion, graphic design, music, culinary arts and technology.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and with the health, safety, and well-being of Fellows and Partners as the highest priority, the U.S. Department of State is planning a virtual Fellowship for 2021. While remaining in their home countries, Fellows will participate in virtual Leadership Institutes, which will include leadership training, networking, mentoring, and professional development.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in a virtual Summit. Up to 70 competitively- selected Fellows will also participate in six weeks of virtual professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that engage, motivate, and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

Learn more about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at UT.