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

By Ebimo Amungo

ATLANTA—The Andrew Young School of Policy Studies (AYSPS) at Georgia State University (GSU) has announced that it has been selected as an Institute Partner for the 2021 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Beginning June 21, GSU will virtually engage 30 of Africa’s bright, emerging leaders in its six-week Public Management 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 Georgia State 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.

At the conclusion of their Leadership Institutes, these exceptional young leaders will convene in Washington, D.C., for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 70 competitively selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development at U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies and government agencies.

Highlights of the Georgia State University program will include Fellows engaging in community service activities with local organizations that serve boys in the foster care system and low-income parents in need of mentorship. Fellows will also participate in cultural connection activities through virtual site visits and networking opportunities with professionals in the Atlanta area