2014-2015 Washington Fellowship for African Youth in USA

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is now accepting applications from youths  aged between 25 and 35 years for the 2014/15  Washington Fellowship for resident youth of Sub-Saharan African. The fellowship is aimed at bringing over 500 young leaders who are citizens of and residents of Sub-Saharan African countries to the United States each year. Beginning in 2014, the leadership training and mentoring  will create unique opportunities in Africa to put those new skills to practical use in propelling economic growth and prosperity, and strengthening democratic institutions.
Worth of Awards

  • Washington Fellows will spend six weeks at top American universities and colleges that will provide tailored training in the sectors above, leveraging top faculty, cutting-edge curricula, and local opportunities to impart practical professional and leadership training.
  • Washington Fellows will have access to dedicated funding opportunities to support their ideas, businesses, and organizations. Over $5 million in small grants will be awarded in the first three years by the U.S. African Development Foundation to Washington Fellows seeking to start their own businesses or social enterprises.
  • The Washington Fellowship will offer participants valuable access to internships and job opportunities in the private and public sectors. We are establishing partnerships with companies, government ministries, research institutions, regional organizations, and non-profit and community-based organizations across the region to provide meaningful career opportunities for these young leaders. For example, Microsoft will connect Washington Fellows with internships in their offices across Africa, including in Cairo, Tunis, Casablanca, Abidjan, Dakar, Accra, Lagos, Abuja, Luanda, Johannesburg, and Nairobi. Ethiopian Airlines will offer participants the opportunity to train at their business management and corporate governance platforms at its hubs around the world.

The fellowship offers an unparalleled opportunity to

  • Interact with President Obama at a Presidential Summit in Washington, D.C.;
  • Participate in a 6-week leadership and mentoring program at a U.S. institution;
  • Meet with U.S. government, civic, and business leaders;
  • Access exceptional internship and apprenticeship opportunities;
  • Expand your business or project through access to millions of dollars for small grant funding; and
  • Join a continent-wide and global alumni network to help you seek innovative solutions to common challenges.
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To be eligible for the award, applicants must be:

  • Citizens of and residents in a sub-Saharan African country. Persons holding U.S. citizenship or permanent residency are not eligible;
  • Young leaders with spoken and written proficiency in English; and
  • Youth between 25 and 35 years of age at the time of application submission, although exceptional leaders younger than 25 will be considered.

Selection Criteria
Washington Fellows should have:

  • A proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service, business and entrepreneurship, or civic engagement;
  • A demonstrated commitment to public or community service, volunteerism, or mentorship;
  • The ability to work cooperatively in diverse groups and respect the opinions of others;
  • Strong social and communication skills;
  • Good academic performance, with preference given to applicants with some university education;
  • An energetic, positive attitude;
  • An opportunity to benefit from a U.S.-funded program or exchange for the first time;
  • A demonstrated knowledge, interest, and professional experience in the track selected; and
  • A commitment to return to Africa and apply leadership skills and training to benefit the applicant’s country, community, or school after they return home.

How to Apply

  • The application for the 2014 Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders will not be available until early December 2013.
  • However, in order to help potential applicants prepare, the institution is providing the following informational guidelines. The exact details of the final application are subject to change.
  • The application will collect basic information and will include questions regarding applicants’ professional and academic experience including educational background; honors and awards received; extracurricular and volunteer activities; and English language proficiency.
  • A resume will be requested from the applicants (with dated educational and professional background), personal information (name, address, phone, email, country of citizenship). Additional elements, such as letters of recommendation or university transcripts, are OPTIONAL and may supplement your application.
  • The online application will be available in early December 2013.
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Personal Statements: As part of the application, applicants will be asked to provide written responses to essay questions. Questions might include the following:

  • Explain how you have helped introduce a new idea, initiative, or product at your company or organization.
  • What is a challenge that your country, industry, or field faces that you would like to address? What steps and resources would be necessary?
  • Describe an example of a project that required you to attract support from a large group. How did you build interest?

Deadline: The online application will be available in early December 2013. Applicants are therefore advised to apply as soon as possible
Click here for more details and to apply online