President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Washington Fellowship Program - Apply Now!

The Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative. President Obama launched YALI in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. The Washington Fellowship, which begins in 2014, will bring 500 young leaders to the United States each year for academic coursework and leadership training and will create unique opportunities in Africa for Fellows to put new skills to practical use in leading organizations, communities, and countries.

Financial provisions provided by the U.S. Government will include:

  • J 1 visa support;
  • Round trip travel from fellow’s home city to the U.S and other required travel
  • Customized academic and leadership institute;
  • Concluding Presidential Summit in Washington, DC;
  • Accident and sickness benefit plan;
  • Housing and meals; and
  • A potential eight week internship at the conclusion of the academic and leadership institute
  • (optional, and competitive for approximately 100 slots).

Please note that housing will be typically be in university dorms or similar accommodations Fellows will  be  expected to share a room and bathroom with another fellow of the same gender. Most meals will be provided at campus  cafeterias or restaurants, though participants may have access to a kitchen to cook some meals on their own. It is important that applicants are aware of these arrangements and that they are comfortable with such accommodations. To the extent possible, care will be taken to ensure that any special  requirements regarding diet, daily worship, housing, and medical care are satisfied.

Eligibility Requirements:
  • All qualified applicants will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, socio economic status, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity
  • Competition for the Washington Fellowship is merit based and open to young African leaders who meet the following criteria
  • Are between the ages of 25 and 35 at the time of application submission, although exceptional applicants younger than 25 will be considered
  • Are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S;
  • Are eligible to receive a United States J1 visa;
  • Are proficient in reading, writing, and speaking English and
  • Are citizens and residents of one of the following countries:

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Republic of the Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Individuals residing in the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Sudan, and Zimbabwe may not apply to the public management track. Residents of Sudan may only apply for the Civic Leadership track.

The online application for the Washington Fellowship is currently available. Completed applications, including all supporting documents, are due by 12:00 midnight Eastern Standard Time, January 27, 2014. All applications must be submitted via the online application system. The application instructions provide detailed information regarding the financial provisions of the fellowship, eligibility and selection criteria for the program, and details on applying. Please read the application instructions carefully prior to beginning the application. We recommend printing these instructions and referring to them while completing the application.

For more information and to download the Application Form, please Click Here to Visit the Young African Leaders Initiative Website

For more information visit Young African Leaders Web Page

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