Clark Atlanta hosting Mandela Washington Fellowship

Mandela Washington Fellowship
The fellows will connect with local industry partners, including The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, IBM, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport through experiential learning site visits, collaborative projects and networking events.

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) welcomed 25 rising leaders from 19 African countries as part of their institute partnership with the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. 

The fellows, who arrived on June 19 are spending six weeks on campus and at several Atlanta-area businesses and establishments to learn critical skills in project management, model innovation, balanced scorecard, human systems engineering, leadership and entrepreneurship. 

The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and administered by the International Research & Exchange Board (IREX).

This year’s fellows represent the following countries: Benin, Cameroon, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Zimbabwe.


Here are some highlights included in the CAU Leadership in Business program:

  • Fellows will connect with local industry partners, including The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, IBM, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport through experiential learning site visits, collaborative projects and networking events.
  • Fellows will give back to the community through service opportunities at non-profit community organizations, such as Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trees Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity and MedShare International, among others.
  • Fellows will interact with the Atlanta business community at networking events, receptions and campus-based events, including the President’s Welcome Reception.
  • Faculty and community members are invited to host YALI Fellows individually or as a group in their homes for an American family dinner experience.

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. 

Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 3,700 young leaders from 49 countries across Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaborations with U.S. professionals. 


The cohort of Fellows hosted by CAU will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 28 educational institutions across the United States. This year, Clark Atlanta is the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in the nation to host a Leadership in Business institute. 

At the conclusion of their Leadership Institutes, these young leaders will convene in Washington, D.C., for the sixth annual 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 non-profit sectors. 

Following the Summit, 70 competitively selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development at U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at CAU, please contact Dr. Mesfin Bezuneh at 404-880-6374 or


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