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Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders returns to Boise State

A cohort of African fellows pose on the Boise State campus.
The 2019 Washington Mandela Fellows at Boise State.

Boise State University’s School of Public Service is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, Boise State will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging public management leaders for a six-week 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 Africa. Established in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2024. Since its inception, nearly 6,500 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship. The cohort of fellows hosted by Boise State will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington fellows hosted at 28 educational institutions across the U.S.

After their leadership institutes, fellows will participate in 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 100 competitively-selected fellows will participate in four weeks of 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 will challenge, motivate and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Mandela Washington Fellowship and Boise State’s second time hosting an institute. The Boise State institute provides the fellows and Idahoans the opportunity for cross-cultural exchange. Highlights of the institute include connecting fellows with local partners through site visits, and collaborative projects, and service opportunities at local nonprofits. Boise State faculty, staff, students and community members will share Idaho experiences with the fellows, such as floating the Boise River, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Alive After 5, while getting the chance to learn about what life is like in their countries.

For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at Boise State, including opportunities to mentor fellows, engage in events, host fellows for dinner or support the institute, please contact the Boise State Mandela Institute Leadership Team at or visit the website at