African Studies Program prepares to welcome 25 emerging African leaders to campus

For six weeks in June, the African Studies Program will host 25 young African leaders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Fellows attend the 2014 YALI Summit in Washington, D.C.
Fellows attend the 2014 YALI Summit in Washington, D.C. (Photo by IREX)

These emerging leaders will travel thousands of miles to the UW-Madison campus as part of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). This fellowship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is designed to engage and empower emerging African leaders between the ages of 25 and 35 in the field of public management.

Fellows hail from across Africa, representing 19 different countries. They boast a wide range of career backgrounds, including doctors, teachers, lawyers, and nurses.

Throughout their time on the UW-Madison campus, Fellows will explore themes in public management. Through focused sessions on public health, education, law, policy, and environment, Fellows will have the chance to develop their skills and receive mentoring and training.

The African Studies Program is busy preparing for the arrival of the Fellows in June. Program Coordinator Meagan Doll says she is striving to provide “a fun and engaging experience for the Fellows.”

“We’ve had lots of meetings with campus and community partners, and we are continuing to look for other ways to get the Fellows out and interacting in Madison,” says Doll. “We have just over a month to finalize everything before 25 outstanding leaders arrive, and we have hit the ground running to make it the best it can be.”

President Obama speaks to Fellows at a Town Hall meeting. (Photo by IREX)
President Obama speaks to Fellows at a Town Hall meeting in 2014. (Photo by IREX)

The Fellows’ names and biographies will be released publicly on June 1.

The African Studies Program is seeking volunteers to interact with Fellows during their time in Madison. “The Fellows will bring a refreshing perspective and energy to our Madison community,” says Doll. “If you’re not involved yet, you’ll want to be.”

To get involved, contact Meagan Doll at