Empowering Tech Innovators in Africa: Apply for the African Union (AU) Digital and Innovation Fellowship (fully-funded)

AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship – Cohort 2

Are you a tech innovator passionate about driving change in Africa? Do you have what it takes to tackle complex data management challenges within the African Union (AU) system? If so, the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program awaits you!

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About AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship

The African Union Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program is a dynamic 12-month initiative designed to identify and deploy highly skilled tech innovators from across Africa to various units and organs within the AU headquarters as ‘resident fellows’. These fellows will immerse themselves in these units, understanding their systems, identifying data management challenges, and co-creating innovative solutions to address these challenges. The aim is to enhance data management processes and overall AU operations while ensuring the sustainability of the developed products and processes beyond the fellowship period by strengthening the internal capacity of AU staff.

The fellows will collaborate to develop tailor-made products and processes that advance the AU’s mandate, particularly in the realms of good governance and citizen engagement. Moreover, the program seeks to foster conditions for long-term capacity building within the host AU organs.

The inaugural cohort, launched in September 2021, successfully deployed 13 fellows to different AU units/organs, where they provided digital solutions to improve data management and operations.

This fellowship program is implemented through the BMZ Commission’s GIZ DataCipation program, which supports the AU and its organs in enhancing citizen engagement.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship, applicants must:

  • Be based in Africa and a national of an AU member state.
  • Be under the age of 34 at the time of application.
  • Hold a tertiary education degree or its equivalent.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to analyze complex problems and propose effective solutions.
  • Possess experience and technical expertise in designing innovative technology products/solutions.
  • Be available to travel for an induction workshop and willing to dedicate 12 months to the fellowship.

Applicants fluent in more than one AU official language (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili) are encouraged to apply.

Application and Selection Process

The application process for the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship is open to all eligible candidates and is entirely merit-based.

  • Stage 1: Submit your application online.
  • Stage 2: Finalists will undergo interviews by AU departments/organs. The top 16 candidates will be selected as fellows and will attend a mandatory induction workshop and pre-deployment training before relocating to Addis Ababa for deployment.

Benefits of the Fellowship

Fellows selected for the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship will enjoy numerous benefits, including:

  • Participation in capacity-building training sessions facilitated by experts from the African innovation ecosystem.
  • Mentorship from industry veterans within the AfriLabs community.
  • Networking opportunities and peer-to-peer learning experiences.
  • Monthly stipends throughout the fellowship period.
  • All-expense-paid trips to ecosystem events, study tours, and more.
  • Recognition as a fellow/alumni of the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program.

Testimonials from Cohort 1 Fellows

  • Obaloluwa Ajiboye (Nigeria): “It’s been an awesome experience. Although the work setting and arrangement appeared complicated at first, it’s been an interesting place to work and gain experience.”
  • Batshidi Selebogo (Botswana): “I found the opportunity online while I was surfing the internet. Being a solution-oriented individual, I was motivated to apply because I wanted an opportunity whereby I can develop solutions that solve African problems.”
  • Sabina Nforba (Cameroon): “The experience has been amazing. I never imagined I was ever going to work at the AU. But being here as a young person, it gives me an opportunity to make my voice heard despite the challenges.”

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