Selected from more than 4,000 applicants from throughout the country, 40 young leaders are currently representing Ghana in the United States over the next six weeks as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI.

The high-achieving cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows includes entrepreneurs, public servants and civil society members, all of whom are between the ages of 25 and 35.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of the U.S. government’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which was launched in 2010. A total of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows from sub-Saharan African countries will spend the next six weeks in the United States. Groups of 25 Fellows each are assigned to 38 different American universities that offer rigorous academic coursework and leadership training.


Three of Ghana’s Fellows will participate in the Public Management Energy Policy Institute at the University of California, Davis. In addition to leadership training, the Energy Institute will focus its academic sessions on creative and pragmatic energy policies and legal practices that foster efficient markets for energy without sacrificing the environment. Fellows will hone their awareness of the global energy system and how energy policies and laws can encourage or thwart innovation and financing.


Upon their return to Ghana in August 2017, the Fellows will continue to build the skills they have developed during their time in the United States through support from the U.S. Embassy, the YALI West Africa Regional Leadership Center, the YALI Network, and customized programming from the U.S. Agency for International Development and affiliated partners.


The Young African Leaders Initiative is a key part of the U.S. government’s commitment to invest in the future of Africa. This initiative was created out of the recognition that young Africans are playing a critical and increasing role in strengthening democratic institutions, spurring economic growth, and enhancing peace and security in Africa.