Clark Atlanta University to Host 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders for Seventh Consecutive Year


ATLANTA, GA – February 4, 2020 -- Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2020 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders for the seventh consecutive year.  Beginning in mid-June, CAU will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging Business 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 is celebrating its 10th anniversary supporting young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.  Since 2014, through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 4,400 young leaders from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals. The cohort of Fellows hosted by CAU will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States.  This summer, all Fellows will receive a letter from President Trump welcoming them to the United States for their program.

At the conclusion of their Leadership Institutes, these exceptional young leaders will convene in Washington, D.C., for 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 non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 70 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development at 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. 

Some highlights of the CAU program will include:

  • Fellows will meet and engage with leaders and business practitioners who will provide a prospective on how U.S. businesses benefit from U.S. trade and development initiatives, such as Access Africa, Prosper Africa, and Power Africa.
  • Fellows will connect with local industry partners, including The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, IBM, and 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.
  • Fellows will socialize with Faculty and community members for an American family dinner experience.

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

About the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI)

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX.  For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2020.  

About Clark Atlanta University (CAU)

Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is a private, research-intensive, liberal arts institution offering 38 exciting areas of study at bachelor’s, master’s, specialists, and doctoral levels.  Established in 1988 by the historic consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), CAU continues a 150-year legacy rooted in the African American tradition and focused on the future. Through global innovation, transformative educational experiences, and high-value engagement, CAU cultivates lifted lives that transform the world.  Learn more at .