Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders

Nearly 700 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa, chosen from more than 38,000 applicants, will meet with U.S. government officials, civil society and private sector leaders at the State Department-sponsored Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit from July 29-31 in Washington D.C. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit fosters and builds relationships that support and expand U.S.-Africa cooperation.

The kickoff to the summit will include remarks from Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, followed by a keynote speech from Kay Coles James, President of The Heritage Foundation. The Summit will feature a Policy Spotlight Plenary with Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Tibor Nagy, breakout sessions with senior U.S. government officials on a range of U.S. foreign policy priorities throughout Africa, such as advancing trade to increase prosperity, short presentations by the Fellows themselves, and will close with Malawian innovator, engineer, and author, William Kamkwamba. The young African leaders are convening in Washington after six weeks of academic study and leadership training at 27 higher education institutions across the United States as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Alumni of the Fellowship continue to play a key role in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a key element in the United States’ effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders.

To request media credentials for open-press events, please submit the online form at For further information, please contact[email protected]. Participants and those following along are encouraged to use the hashtag #YALI2019 to join the conversation. The latest agenda is available on the website:

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by IREX.

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