African Union Digital & Innovation Fellowship

Call for Application

AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship - Cohort 2

About AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship

The African Union Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program is a robust 12-month program which aims to identify and deploy highly competent tech innovators from the African continent to units and organs within the African Union headquarters as ‘resident fellows’ to understand the system within those units, identify data management challenges within the systems and solve the challenges identified by co-creating and building innovative tailor-made products and processes that improve data management processes and the overall work of the AU, while ensuring the sustainability of the developed products and processes post the fellowship timeline, by strengthening the internal capacity of the AU staff within those units.

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 first cohort was launched in September 2021 and has since produced 13 fellows deployed to different units/organs of the African Union to proffer digital solutions to the gaps in their data management and operations.

The 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

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 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 16 will be confirmed as fellows. Selected fellows will be mandated to attend the Fellows Induction Workshop and a virtual pre-deployment training before traveling to Addis Ababa and to be deployed to the AU departments/organs.


Fellowship Highlights

  • Induction Workshop: During the duration of the Fellowship, The fellows will be supported through several capacity building training beginning from an Induction Workshop.
  • 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.

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.

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.

The fellows will participate in several high-level events organized by the AUC and partners. Some of the events will include the 2024 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.

The 16 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.

Testimonials from Cohort 1 Fellows

Obaloluwa Ajiboye Fellow Cohort 1, 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 Fellow Cohort 1, 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 Fellow Cohort 1, 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.