Introduction to YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative)


The expanding world of higher education contributes to international development through unique and innovative methods. One such initiative enacted under President Barack Obama in 2014 is the Mandela Washington Fellowship which has brought thousands of young African leaders to American colleges and universities for training in civic leadership, business & entrepreneurship, and public management. During this 6 week academic and leadership institute, participants will learn from experienced faculty while working alongside community partners and peer collaborators.

The Department of State in collaboration with IREX partners with higher education institutions to plan, develop, and execute intensive academic and leadership institutes during the summer of each year. 39 colleges and universities are participating in the 2017 session, including;

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Florida International University
  • Howard University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Texas at Austin
  • and more..

My following posts will explore the institutions and fellows participating in the initiative and ways in which they administer their respective programs.

For more information on the Young African Leaders Initiative, visit

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