AU Digital and Innovation fellowship 2021: Fully funded to Addis Ababa

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About the fellowship

The digital and innovation fellowship program is a robust digital fellowship program that identifies and deploys highly competent tech innovators within the African continent to organs within the African Union Headquarters and organs as ‘resident fellows’ to understand the system within those organs; identify challenges within the system and propose solutions to these challenges.
The fellows will be expected to co-create and build innovative tailor-made products and processes that improve the delivery of the African Union’s mandate especially in the context of good governance and citizens engagement. Additionally, the program will seek to facilitate conditions for building the internal capacity of the host African Union organs in the long term.

The innovation fellowship program is implemented through the BMZ Commission’s GIZ DataCipation program which supports the African Union and its organs to enhance its mandate on citizens engagement.
Adopting a series of interventions and mechanisms, the DataCipation provides advisory and implementation support to the African Union to engage African citizens in the implementation of its mandate. In this context, the project is providing support to the African Union to implement a Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be based in Africa and must be a National of an African Union member state;
  • Be under the age of 34 prior to the time of application; 
  • Hold a tertiary education degree or its equivalent; 
  • Have the capacity to gather comprehensive information on complex problems or situations, and the ability to evaluate and analyze information accurately in order to identify key issues and proffer solutions;
  • Have experience and technical know-how in designing innovative technology products/solutions; 
  • Be available to travel in late October 2021 to participate in an induction workshop during the AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Abuja, Nigeria; 
  • Be available and willing to dedicate 12 months from November 2021 to September 2022. Fellows will be required to take a break from current obligations and relocate to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2021.
  • Applicants who speak more than one AU official language (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Swahili) are strongly advised to apply.

Application and Selection

The African Union Digital and Innovation Fellowship application is open to all eligible applicants and the selection process is completely merit-based.

Stage 1: At the close of the application window, all eligible applications will be assessed by independent reviewers and 30 top scorers will be picked for the next stage of the selection process as finalists.

Stage 2: Finalists will undergo rounds of interviews by the AU departments/organs and the best 10 will be confirmed as fellows. Selected fellows will be mandated to attend the Fellows Induction Workshop at the 2021 AfriLabs Annual Gathering holding in Abuja Nigeria in October and a virtual pre-deployment training before traveling to Addis Ababa and to be deployed to the AU departments/organs in November.


  • Participate in several capacity building training that will be facilitated by top experts from the African innovation ecosystem.
  • Receive mentorship support from experienced industry experts drawn from the AfriLabs community.
  • Network and benefit from several peer-to-peer learning opportunities.
  • Receive monthly stipends throughout the period of the Fellowship.
  • Embark on several all-expense-paid trips to ecosystem events, onboarding/offboarding, study/learning tour, etc.
  • Attend a grand graduation ceremony where certificates will be awarded to fellows.
  • Be recognized as a fellow/alumni of the African Union Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program.

Components of the Fellowship

Capacity building training

  • Induction Workshop: During the duration of the Fellowship, The fellows will be supported through several capacity building training beginning from an Induction Workshop which will be held in late October 2021 at the 2021 AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • Virtual Pre-deployment Workshop: Before fellows are deployed to the AU departments/organs in Addis Ababa, the fellows will participate in a virtual pre-deployment workshop that will be delivered by experienced tech fellowship experts.
  • Needs-based Capacity Building Training: The fellows will receive a needs-based capacity building training which will be developed to tackle the fellows needs areas that will be identified through a needs assessment of the fellows. The training will be delivered by experienced trainers drawn from the AfriLabs network.


The fellows will be mentored by high-profiled experts (tech advisors) with experience in mentoring innovators and guiding them to develop innovative solutions. The mentors will serve as non-resident fellows to advise and support the fellows throughout the Fellowship.

Learning tour

The fellows will be taken on a learning tour at a top tech organization with experience and technical expertise in supporting brilliant tech innovators to develop technologies and innovations that solve specific challenges in government and organizational administration processes.

Peer to peer learning

The fellows will be engaged in peer-to-peer learning sessions with their carefully selected exceptional counterparts. A key peer learning session will be organized post the learning tour for fellows to engage with each other and share learning and ideas gotten from the learning tour.

Events and Networking

The fellows will participate in several high-level events organized by the AUC and partners. Some of the events will include the 2021 AfriLabs Annual Gathering, the project Opening Ceremony, high-level events and exhibitions organized by/in partnership with project partners, the fellows Graduation Ceremony. Majority of these events will provide the fellows with opportunities to network with high profile individuals and stakeholders from within and outside the African continent.

Professional career development

The 10 selected fellows will be deployed to departments/organs within the AUC for a period of 12 months during which they will interact and engage with professional staffers of the AUC. Both the fellows and the AUC staffers will benefit from professional knowledge exchange and skills transfer during the Fellowship.


During the Fellowship, all fellows’ travel expenses for deployment to Addis Ababa, events, learning tour, offboarding, etc. will be fully covered by the Fellowship.

Deadline : 4 October 2021

For more information and application please visit


Related: Opportunity for African women Tony Elumelu Foundation:WE4C 2021

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