African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme

About the Programme

The African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme is a partnership between the African Union Commission (AUC) and UNDP. The Programme seeks 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 Africa’s Agenda 2063.

The target is to place at least one African Young Woman Fellow from each African country per year in an assignment with UNDP or another UN organisation. During the first phase of the programme, the young women fellows will gain valuable work experience from assignments with UNDP country, regional or headquarters offices in Africa, Asia and Europe and CIS in areas related to among others partnerships and innovation for acceleration of the SDGs.

The Programme modality, general terms of reference and criteria for selection have been developed jointly by UNDP in partnership with AUC department of Human Resources Youth Division. It is administered jointly by RBA and OHR. The first phase of the Programme is funded by UNDP Africa and contributes to the Regional Programme objective to enhance technical capacities to implement the SDGs and Agenda 2063 while building gender responsiveness and resilience as well as the AUC’s One million by 2021 initiative to connect one million youth to opportunities.


Each fellowship assignment developed by a requesting UNDP office will be of 12 months duration. During this period fellows will develop and learn through their work experience with UNDP office and through participation in a dedicated training programme, including a pre-deployment workshop in Addis, a leadership development programme in New York, and a mentoring programme.


Participants in the Programme are required to have nationality with an AU member state, be below 34 years of age, and hold a Master’s degree or equivalent. Participants should demonstrate understanding of and interest in poverty eradication, sustainable structural transformation, the SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

On 22nd August 2019, 21 African young women professionals embarked on a 12-month leadership journey supported through a pioneering joint initiative by the United Nations Development Programme in Africa and the African Union Commission. This first cohort of the African Young Women Leaders Fellowship Programme are located in 13 UNDP offices globally. They are already contributing to national, regional and global programs to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and Africa’s Agenda 2063 while developing skills and experience as Africa’s next generation of global leaders. This monthly journal documents their personal experiences, joys and lessons as they network, grow together and connect with Africa’s bright future.