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African Young Women Leaders (AfYWL) Fellowship Programme (SPONSORED)

Deadline: 11 August 2023

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 UN Development Programme works in some 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. UNDP helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience to sustain development results. UNDP supports the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as they help shape global sustainable development for the next 15 years.

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: 1) Natural Resource Governance; 2) Youth and Women’s Employment and Empowerment; 3) Structural Economic Transformation; 4) Sustainable Energy; 5) Climate Change; and 6) Peace and Security.

AfYWL 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 with 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 extension of the Fellowship assignment beyond the 12 months.

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.


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 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.

Duties, Responsibilities and Expected Outputs

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.

In addition, the Fellow will benefit from the relevant training and learning modalities/opportunities offered in the receiving office.

Eligibility Criteria


  • Completed Master’s degree or equivalent in Economics, Political Science, Business Administration, International Relations/Development, Law, Communications, Digitalization or other related development field.


  • Maximum cumulative two years (post bachelor/postmaster degree) of relevant and paid working experience in research, analysis and programme/project development, implementation and management.

Language Requirements:

  • Strong working knowledge of English

  • Proficiency in at least one additional AU working language (Arabic, English, French, Portuguese or Spanish) is an advantage

Additional Criteria:

  • Female candidates accepted only

  • 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 on 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 analyse 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.

Application Procedure

You are required to submit your application in English online. 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.

Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria and include the requested documents will not be taken into further consideration. Candidates under further consideration will be invited to an on-line test with the objective to test your competencies and cognitive abilities. 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

Should you be considered following 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.

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. 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 African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme will be communicated to the up to 40 most successful candidates including the location of assignment and job description. Applicants should be ready to accept any location offered in either HQ, Country or Regional office.

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