Mandela Washington Fellowship at Purdue University Young African Leaders Initiative


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 support for activities in their communities.  Fellows are young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities, and countries.  The cohort of Fellows hosted by Purdue University will be part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at institutions across the United States this summer.  At the end of the summer, these exceptional young leaders will attend the Washington Summit in Washington, D.C.; select Fellows will also spend six weeks in professional development training with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.

The Institute will be held June 19 – July 28, 2017 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. The 25 young African leaders will take part in an institute with a focus in business and entrepreneurship for a six-week academic and leadership institute. Over the course of the six weeks, the fellows will work in groups as they move through adapted LaunchBox modules using their own agriculture-related business ideas or innovations, or “case study” concepts provided by the Institute. The LaunchBox program, created by the Purdue Foundry is used to help inventors/founders find the value proposition of their idea by exploring potential markets, customers, and financial models.

Partners at Purdue include the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships, Krannert School of Management, Purdue Foundry, Purdue Center for Global Food Security, Office of Engagement, and Colleges of Engineering and Agriculture. While also working closely with the U.S.Department of State’s Bureau of Educational Affairs and its implementing partner, IREX, Purdue has designed an academic program that will challenge, inspire, and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa.

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