Fellowship Programme

Empower African Young Women Leaders (AfYWL) Fellowship 2023: Apply Now for Fully-funded Fellowship Programme by UNDP and African Union

Fellowship Programme

Apply to the UNDP African Young Women Leaders(AfYWL) Fellowship Programme – a partnership between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP).

This article gives a thorough overview of the fellowship programme from its summary down to the stages of the application process.

African Young Women Leaders (AfYWL) Fellowship Programme In Summary

The African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme offers an interesting 12 months assignment with UNDP at its HQ in New York or in one of its regional or country offices. There will be no placement in hardship locations.

The AfYWL Fellowship Programme is a perfect fit for you if:

  • You want to work to advance the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063
  • You want to contribute towards youth empowerment and employment, gender equality and women empowerment, strategic communications and partnerships, and South-South Cooperation to unleash the development potential of Africa
  • You want to develop your skills and join a new generation of global leaders
  • You believe in the potential of young women in driving transformational change
  • You are able to mainstream youth priorities and gender in development

The AfYWL Fellowship Programme is a partnership under the framework of the AUC Chairperson’s 1 Million Next Level Initiative, which aims to provide opportunities for African youth in the key areas of Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Engagement, and mainstream youth and women in key development spaces.

This exciting partnership aims to build a new generation of young African women leaders and experts to serve Africa and the world in designing and implementing development programmes in the context of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.

The Fellowship Programme will explore different areas of development within the six strategic impact areas of UNDP’s Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa:

  • Natural Resource Governance
  • Youth and Women’s Employment and Empowerment
  • Structural Economic Transformation
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Climate Change
  • Peace and Security.

We are looking for up to 40 talented young African women to join the third cohort of this 12-month fellowship programme. As an AfYWL Fellow, you will be assigned to a UNDP office under a learning and development programme. You will embark on a journey where you will need to demonstrate agility and adaptability to an environment and an assignment where your skills and potential will be leveraged.

Applicants should be ready to accept any location offered in either HQ, Country or Regional office (no hardship locations). There will be no possibility for an extension of the Fellowship assignment beyond the stipulated 12 months.

We are looking for engaged young African women who embrace UNDP’s values:

  • Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Transparency
  • Professionalism
  • Mutual Respect
  • Results Orientation (Through Principled Performance)

The Fellowship programme will cover expenses related to travel and medical insurance for the fellow only (no entitlements applicable for dependents/family). Each fellow will receive a monthly stipend to cover accommodation and basic living costs at their respective duty station. In addition, paid leave and an earmarked learning budget will be allocated for undertaking relevant learning and development activities.

Please visit the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to learn more about the organizations.

Supervision Modalities

As part of the AfYWL Fellowship Programme, the fellows will benefit from the following supervision modalities:

  • Joint structured induction programme hosted by UNDP and AUC.
  • Structured guidance provided by the supervisor.
  • Coaching and mentoring by an experienced UNDP People Manager.
  • Establishment of a work plan with clear key results and deliverables.
  • Effective supervision through knowledge sharing and performance/development feedback throughout the assignment.
  • Participation in Unit/Team/Office meetings to ensure integration and operational effectiveness.
  • Guidance and career advice in relation to learning and career growth opportunities within the field of expertise.

Key Responsibilities

Key areas of responsibilities include:
1) Collection and analysis of data and research on SDGs and Agenda 2063;
2) Experimentation on promising areas of innovation around the six impact areas of UNDP’s Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa;
3) Drafting research papers, reports and presentations;
4) Participating in internal and external meetings and conferences;
5) Supporting the implementation of projects and initiatives on gender, youth, climate change, resilience and security among others;
6) Participating in field missions as required;
7) Providing support and liaising with government officials and various stakeholders.

Training and Learning

As part of the fellowship assignment, the fellow will benefit from the following training and learning opportunities:

  • Participation in a dedicated induction workshop in Addis Ababa (early 2024) hosted jointly by AUC and UNDP (all costs covered).
  • Access to an earmarked learning budget for relevant learning/development activities.
  • Participation in regular mentorship by senior UNDP staff.
  • Participation in a transformative leadership development training programme jointly developed by AUC and UNDP.
  • Participation in tailored learning and community events targeted UNDP Young Professionals
  • Support from UNDP on other corporate learning and development activities.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Innovation: Ability to make new and useful ideas work. Adapts deliverables to meet client needs.
  2. Leadership: Ability to persuade others to follow. Proactively seeks and recognizes the contributions of others.
  3. People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction. Appropriately involves the team in different stages of work and decision-making.
  4. Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform. Expresses information and views with adaptive reasoning and appreciation for complexity and variation.
  5. Delivery: Ability to get things done. Takes responsibility for addressing critical situations and delivering core values.
  6. Education: Completed Master’s degree or equivalent in Economics, Political Science, Business Administration, International Relations/Development, Law, Communications, Digitalization or other related development field.  
  7. Experience: Maximum cumulative two years (post-bachelor/postmaster degree) of relevant and paid working experience in research, analysis and programme/project development, implementation and management. 

Additional Criteria

  • Female candidates accepted only
  • National of an African Union member state.
  • Maximum Age of 30 at the date of application.
  • Available in 2023/2024 to dedicate 12 months for a fellowship assignment.
  • Available early 2024 to participate in an induction workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (timing to be confirmed/all costs covered).
  • Willing to relocate to duty station, live and work outside the country of residence on an assignment which leverages your skills & potential.
  • Understanding of, and interest in, poverty eradication, sustainable structural transformation, the SDGs and Agenda 2063.
  • Capacity to gather comprehensive information on complex problems or situations, and ability to evaluate and analyze information accurately in order to identify key issues and solutions.
  • Additional expertise and background in digital transformation, strategic partnerships and communications, development intelligence and innovation will also be considered.

Method of Application

You are required to submit your application in English. Please click this APPLY Link to initiate your application. Note that application closes on the 13th of August, 2023.

During the application process, you will be taken through different stages of assessment and selection. Hereunder, you should be readily available to produce the required information and material requested enabling the AfYWL Recruitment team to review and assess your application. To initiate your application you will need:

  • Copies of your national ID/Passport for upload.
  • Copies of your academic degrees (tertiary education/Bachelor and Masters) for upload.

The application procedure will undergo the following stages:
Stage 1: Upon initial review of your Eligibility you will be invited to submit additional information to support your application.
Stage 2: Candidates under further consideration will be invited to an online test with the objective to test their competencies and cognitive abilities.
Stage 3: Should you be considered following successful completion of the test, you will be invited to submit the following additional documents.

  • A written Essay (Instructions to follow)
  • Personal History Form, P11
  • 3 Written references

Stage 4: Should you be considered following a successful assessment of your submitted essay, you will be further shortlisted and invited to conduct a self-recorded video interview. The video interview will include a separate assessment of your listed language skills.
Stage 5: A final evaluation of your submitted self-recorded video interview will be conducted as the final stage of your application process. Successful and fully recommended candidates will be included in a final roster considered for the available AfYWL Fellowship placements at a location/assignment determined by UNDP.
Stage 6: Candidates under final consideration may be invited for a follow-up interview with the hosting UNDP Headquarters, regional or country office or AUC office.

Offers to join the 3rd Cohort of the African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme will be communicated to the up to 40 most successful candidates including the location of the assignment and job description.
The location of the assignment will be determined through a final matching exercise where candidate profiles will be matched against assignment profiles/duty stations where the most suitable fit is identified.

Applicants should be ready to accept any location offered in either HQ, Country or Regional office (no hardship locations). There will be no possibility for an extension of the Fellowship assignment beyond the stipulated 12 months. All applications and submitted documentation will be treated in the strictest confidence.

For more career opportunities, click HERE.

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