AEI | yali

washington-mandela fellowship • young african leader initiative


The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Since 2014, nearly 4,400 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished leaders and have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their communities and countries. In 2020, the Fellowship will provide 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. college or university with support for professional development after they return home.


The Allen Entrepreneurial Institute has Partnered with Clark Atlanta University, led by Dr. Mesfin Bezuneh to host the Washington Mandela Fellows since its inception in 2014. During this unique and immersive experience, YALI Fellows meet entrepreneurs and leaders in their industries of focus, visit operating businesses, participate in active participation challenges and compete to win the AEI | YALI Challenge. Many past participating fellows have returned to visit the institute to accelerate their businesses, meet with partners and mentors, expose fellow entrepreneurs and more. These activities have created ongoing business deals and projects for the fellows and our partners who also participate in the programming during the AEI |YALI experience.