Mandela Washington fellows meet US President Barack Obama in Washington, DC in June 2014The US Embassy in South Africa has announced the opening of applications for the 2015 Mandela Washington Fellowship. The fellowship invites 500 young Africans aged 25 to 35 to spend six weeks in extensive executive leadership training, networking and skills building at a leading US university. The programme will run in June and July 2015 and fellows can choose one of three courses on offer: public management, civic leadership, or business and entrepreneurship.After completing their studies, the fellows will travel to Washington, DC for a summit hosted by President Barack Obama and attended by leaders in the global business, government, and NGO communities.The training is supplemented by over 200 internship opportunities in the US and Africa, follow-on professional mentoring and over $1-million (R11-million) in seed money to grow new businesses and initiatives.South Africa’s Mandela Washington Fellowship alumni are some of the best and brightest young people in the country. This year’s fellows include eTV’s Faith Mangope, KZN Science Centre CEO Candice Potgieter, and Zulu chief iNkosi Sbonelo Mkhize.They also include dozens of young South Africans making a difference in rural communities from Mpumalanga to the Eastern Cape. With committed environmental activists, education reformers, and small business owners, Mandela Washington fellows come from a range of backgrounds and walks of life. To apply for the fellowship, visit the US government’s Young African Leaders website. https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov Applicants must be 25 to 35 years old and have a proven record of leadership in their chosen field. Applications close on 5 November.