Young African Leaders Initiative

Project: Research project

Project Details


The Mandela Washington Fellowship Business and Entrepreneurship Institute at Northwestern University builds upon a strong foundation of academic excellence and experiential learning at some of the top businesses in the Chicago area. The Northwestern Mandela Washington Fellowship equips participants with the tools, connections, and a solid plan of action that they can take back and implement in their home countries. Northwestern University consistently ranks among the best universities in the US. Programs such as the Program of African Studies, the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Center for Leadership are leaders in their respective academic arenas. Since 1948, the Program of African Studies has supported academic research and exchanges with Africa. It is one of the largest and most well established research centers of its kind in the US and Northwestern University’s Africana library is the largest on the planet. Our associated faculty have contributed hundreds of publications, including books, articles, chapters, and short films to the study of the continent. The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Center for Leadership are programs in the McCormick School of Engineering, one of the top programs in the nation. Taught by recognized leaders in their fields, the academic curriculum is designed to expose Fellows to all aspects of the business development process, from the idea to the creation, financing and running of a start-up business. Combining business knowledge, technical savvy, decision-making techniques, and effective teambuilding and leadership skills, our goal is to help fellows better assess whether an idea is a business opportunity and how to transform that opportunity into a business. Our Center for Leadership equips scholars of all levels to work to their highest potential. Offering certificates, workshops and coaching, the Center for Leadership customizes learning to the unique experience and situation of the fellows. Our experiential learning site visits complement our academic component by highlighting successful businesses, entrepreneurs, and community organizations. Northwestern’s proximity to the city of Chicago provides access to an abundance of global organizations such as Google, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, World Bicycle Relief, McDonald’s, and many others. Partnering with such companies and taking advantage of Chicago’s cultural richness, Northwestern University’s Business and Entrepreneurship Institute provides Fellows the opportunity to connect with experts in their fields, engage with communities in meaningful service, experience the nuances of American culture, and gain invaluable knowledge and skills to take back home.
Effective start/end date1/15/158/15/15


  • International Research & Exchanges Board (FY15-YALI-NWU-02/S-ECAGD-14-CA-1168 // FY15-YALI-NWU-02/S-ECA...)
  • Department of State (FY15-YALI-NWU-02/S-ECAGD-14-CA-1168 // FY15-YALI-NWU-02/S-ECA...)


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