Clark Atlanta University Welcomes the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows


Clark Atlanta University (CAU) officially welcomed the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders with annual Welcome and Reception Dinner

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 welcomed 3,000 young leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States to develop their leadership skills, network and foster collaborations with U.S. professionals. The cohort of fellows to be hosted by CAU are part of a larger group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted by 27 institutions across the United States this summer. At the close of their six-week institutes, the 700 young leaders will convene in Washington, D.C., for the fifth annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will network and participate in panel discussions with each other and U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Washington, D.C., Summit, 100 Fellows will receive six weeks of professional development training at U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

Working closely with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, host institutions will offer academic and leadership programs that will challenge, inspire, and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa. Clark Atlanta University’s fellows will focus on innovation and entrepreneurship during their institute experience.

After successfully completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship in 2014 Temitayo Etomi founded the Young Business Leaders of Nigeria, where she replicated an adapted version of the Mandela Washington Fellowship in Nigeria, with the aim of reducing unemployment by enhancing the capacity of entrepreneurs in that country to create jobs. The organization has a network of more than 40,000 young Nigerians and continues to support young Nigerians to create jobs at scale. This success was a springboard for her to be chosen as a 2018 Eisenhower Fellow after completing the prestigious Eisenhower Global Fellowship program. This Fellowship selects between 20-30 Fellows worldwide and in 2018 Temitayo was one of two selected from Africa. The Mandela Washington Fellowship aided in growing her entrepreneurial skills as she continues to distinguish herself in the business world.

Some highlights of the Clark Atlanta University program will include: Experiential Learning visits with local business partners, including: The Coca-Cola Company, UPS , the Atlanta Hartsfield - Jackson International Airport and the City of Atlanta, IBM, and the Allen Institute of Entrepreneurship. And, the Community Service opportunities at local partner non-profit community organizations include: Atlanta Community Food Bank, Trees Atlanta and MedShare International.

The social events for the Fellows include: the President’s Welcome Reception, and American family dinner experience at Faculty and community members’ house.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2018. For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Institute at CAU, please contact Mesfin Bezuneh at or 404-880-6274.