African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme

What does it mean to be a young, African, woman leader?
  • She proudly represents her community, her country and her continent.
  • She has resilience, grit and tenacity.
  • She is driven by confidence, competence, passion and purpose.
  • She is committed to change, even when this means enduring great challenges.
  • She is the future!
About the AfYWL Fellowship Programme

Established in 2019, the African Young Women Leaders (AfYWL) Fellowship Programme seeks to cultivate a new generation of young African women leaders to serve Africa and the world through the design and implementation of development programmes in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The Fellowship Programme, a joint initiative between the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims to advance gender equality by investing in global women leadership

Three Pillars

Equipping outstanding young African women leaders with the leadership skills and experience required to advance the SDGs and contribute effectively to decision making in public, private and multilateral institutions at home and abroad.

Creating a diverse pool of talent to enhance UNDP’s organizational efficiency and contribute to more responsive and effective policies and programmes.

Developing a network of African young women professionals that engages in promoting innovative, sustainable and inclusive development through South-South development exchange.

“The AfYWL Fellows will become voices for Africa’s youth, with one mission: to enhance their know-how over the next 12 months, enjoy the experience, while creating the new ideas that will transform Africa across the public and private sectors. These young women are shaping the futures of their communities and countries.”
- Ahunna Eziakonwa, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa.
The journey

The Programme deploys fellows to UNDP country, regional and headquarters offices to undertake 1-year assignments. The first AfYWL cohort (2019-2021) consisted of 21 fellows selected from 20 African countries and deployed to 20 UNDP offices globally. Read their stories.

The Programme is currently in its second phase (2022-2023), with 38 fellows from 22 African countries deployed to 26 locations at UNDP offices in Africa, Asia, Europe and USA.

“Investing in women is not a vanity project for the African Union Commission, it is urgent and important, and it leads to positive development outcomes for our beloved continent.”
Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.