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Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders at Drexel

May 5, 2021

Drexel University to Virtually Host 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

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Drexel University is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning June 21, Drexel University will virtually engage 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Civic Engagement 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. 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 Drexel University will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted by 26 educational institutions across the United States.

 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.

Some highlights of the Drexel University program will include learning from expert faculty members and community leaders in the field of civic engagement. Fellows will also connect with Philadelphia’s rich cultural institutions through guided virtual tours at iconic landmarks such as the Liberty Bell, Mural Arts, and Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute implemented by Drexel University please contact Casey Devine at and learn more about the Mandela Washington Fellowship on the Global Engagement website.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2021.

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