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Mandela Washington Fellows come to W&M

  • YALI Opening Ceremony
    YALI Opening Ceremony  U.S. Senator Tim Kaine was the keynote speaker at the welcome of the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows at the University of Virginia.  
  • Yali Ideas Summit
    Yali Ideas Summit  The 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows presented their projects at the City of Williamsburg's Stryker Center.  
  • YALI 2017 Opening Reception
    YALI 2017 Opening Reception  The fellows met with staff of the Presidential Precinct at the opening ceremony reception.  
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On July 15, 2017, William & Mary will welcome 25 of Africa’s brightest, emerging civic leaders for 15 days of leadership training, public policy seminars, mentorship and collaboration with local faculty and community members. This is the fourth year that William & Mary and its partners in the Presidential Precinct have been selected as hosts for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The Presidential Precinct program has hosted the Mandela Washington Fellows since June, offering academic coursework and mentoring in Charlottesville and Orange, Virginia.  Comprised of two of America’s leading universities and three presidential sites in Virginia, the Presidential Precinct is one of 40 institute partners, the only consortium and the only host in Virginia to be selected for the fellowship that will bring 1,000 emerging African leaders to the U.S. this year.

The William & Mary portion of this year’s Civic Leadership Institute culminates in the Africa Ideas Summit, July 26 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Miller Hall. The fellows will present their proposals and projects for their communities. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is online. It will also be streamed live at

“Being able to host the Mandela Washington Fellows as members of the Presidential Precinct is a great opportunity for William & Mary,” said Teresa Longo, acting vice provost for international affairs and director of the Reves Center for International Studies.  “We look forward to learning from these distinguished African leaders, and to nurturing connections with them that we hope will last a lifetime.”

The fellows, who are between the ages of 25 and 35, have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries. The 2017 cohort attending the Civic Leadership Institute at the Presidential Precinct represents 18 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 48 countries are represented in the fellowship nationwide.

The cohort of fellows hosted by Presidential Precinct is part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows being hosted at higher education institutions across the United States this summer through the U.S. State Department’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).  Fifty-one fellows identify as having a disability, and 50 percent of the fellows are women.

Following their six-week curriculum, all 1,000 fellows will come together in Washington, D.C., for a three-day Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, July 31 – August 2, 2017.  A select group of 100 fellows will remain in the United States after the Presidential Summit for an eight-week internship at a relevant U.S. business, NGO or government agency.  Further, the Mandela Washington Fellowship includes robust programming in Africa, including networking opportunities, continued professional development and access to seed funding.

Mandela Washington Fellows at the Presidential Precinct

Jeannine Abatan

Kyapalushi Kapatamoyo

Ahmed Adetola-Kazeem

Neema Kiswaga

Emmanuel Agumah

Godfrey Kurauone

Ousmane Bah
Burkina Faso

Landa Mabenge
South Africa

Dzikamai Bere

Tem Fuh Mbuh

Christian Lambang Fonye

Melusi Mngomezulu

Breznevia Mascarenhas

Emery Mudinga
Democratic Republic of the Congo

Justine Hamupolo

Rebecca Ojedele

Sally Hurt
South Africa

Rado Rakotosamimanana

Mariyann Jabang
The Gambia

Abinet Sitotaw

Temitope Kalejaiye
Bright Sowu
Lweendo Kambela
Megha Venketasamy
Seraphine Kando
Burkina Faso

The Presidential Precinct is a Virginia-based nonprofit organization that empowers and inspires emerging global leaders by providing leadership tools, training and a virtual network for continuing education and collaboration. Since 2012, more than 450 leaders from 115 countries have joined Presidential Precinct programs that facilitate dialogue, generate solutions to pressing governance and development challenges and create lasting professional relationships. The precinct’s consortium is made up of six prestigious institutions – the University of Virginia, William & Mary, William Short’s Morven, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland and James Madison’s Montpelier.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a U.S. government program that is supported in its implementation by IREX.