Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is Now Accepting Applications for 2015 Fellowships

U.S. Embassy Maseru announces the opening of the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Applications will be available online from October 7, 2014 to November 5, 2014 at

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and embodies the United States’ commitment to invest in the future of Africa.  The first class of 500 Mandela Washington Fellows arrived in the U.S. in June 2014 for six weeks of intensive executive leadership training, networking, and skills building, followed by a Presidential Summit in Washington, DC.  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.

Of the first group of Mandela Washington Fellows, six were from Lesotho and they were selected from almost 50,000 applications from across the African continent. These Fellows represent the extraordinary promise of an emerging generation of entrepreneurs, activists, and public officials.

As President Obama said to the Fellows this summer, “The great thing about being young is you are not bound by the past, and you can shape the future…I have no doubt that you’re going to leave behind for the next generation and the generation after that an Africa that is strong and vibrant and prosperous, and is ascendant on the world stage.”

Mandela Washington Fellows are between 25 and 35 years old; have proven track records of leadership in a public, private, or civic organization; and demonstrate a strong commitment to contributing their skills and talents to building and serving their communities.

Applications will be accepted from October 7, 2014 to November 5, 2014. The application process is internet based and available at