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Young African Leaders Programme

Programme Start Date





Palazzo Buontalenti

The Profile of the candidates:


  • Applicants must be maximum 35 years old on the date of the start of the programme - (1 September 2022) and currently residing in Africa. However, applicants up to 40 years old can be exceptionally considered, namely women and people with special needs. Applicants that are women and from countries that were not included in the programme cohort 2021 to ensure geographical balance (for more information on the nationality of previous Fellows, please visit here) will be given priority and favorable assessment.


  • Applicants must be fluent in written and spoken English. English language proficiency is required for applicants for whom English is not their first language. The expected level of English proficiency is level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
  • An English certificate is not requested as part of the application, but successful candidates may be invited for an interview in English and requested to provide a certificate/supporting document on registration. This can be one of the international certificates listed below, or another supporting document showing that the candidate’s level of English is sufficient for using it as a working language (for example, a certificate of attendance of English language schools, a degree in English as a foreign language, a proof of work in an English-speaking environment). Native English speakers are exempt of proof.
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)*
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    • Cambridge English Examinations (CAE)
    • Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC)
    • Business English Certificate (BEC)

*including special TOEFL Home Edition Test, for candidates who are unable to take the test at a test centre due to public health concerns.

Work Experience

  • We are looking for mid-career, high potential policy-makers, diplomats, and professionals from Africa, working in national and local authorities, regional, continental, international organisations and development partners, civil society organisations, academia, media and private sector, in Africa, who are nationals of African countries,members of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, residing in Africa and are under the age of 35.
  • Potential beneficiaries should have at least seven years of relevant work experience.

Education and Field

  • Potential beneficiaries must hold a Master’s Degree or higher qualification. They should be committed to contribute to strategic themes and policy areas relevant to transnational governance. These include climate change and resilience, gender empowerment, cross-border economic and resource governance, diplomacy, digital politics, trade and investment, education, science and technology, skill development, migration and mobility, humanitarian disasters such as pandemics, regional integration and regional governance, democracy and human rights, peace and security. These areas are crucial to deliver sustainable and locally-owned development in African countries, as well as to contribute to the effective implementation of the Africa-EU-Partnership, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, African Continental Free Trade Area, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To view the current STG focus areas, programmes and initiatives, please follow this link.

Additional Considerations

  • Applicants must show keen interest in developing their skills in: (i) strategic planning and execution; (ii) negotiation and change management; (iii) policy formulation, and development implementation of new strategies and procedures; (iv) ability to communicate and interact with officials at all levels of governance and to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community; (v) research/analytical work in relevant areas of transnational governance and policymaking; (vi) working on multilateral, regional or continental African issues.
  • Applicants must be self-motivated and able to present a clear “Statement of Purpose” for the fellowship to show what the applicant will achieve and how this work will improve transnational governance and leadership in their respective areas of work upon completion of the Programme, also considering gender mainstreaming and inclusiveness at large (please, see here below). Participants are also expected to actively engage the EUI community and its activities including discussions on topics of interest. Please see the “requested documents” under the information for applicants for more information on the statement of purpose.
  • The Programme expressly aims at ensuring a balanced mix of participants in terms of gender, geographical and national origins, countries’ fragility levels so as to represent the diversity of Africa and provide opportunities to less-advantaged applicants and ensure equity in national and regional representation. Applicants’ past experience, professional backgrounds and the mandate of the institutions they work for will also be taken into account.
  • In particular, the Programme promotion and selection processes will be gender-sensitive with the aim to ensure at least 50% of the fellows will be female. Moreover, the training will cover gender equality and empowerment. Adequate means will also be ensured to attract applications from women and dedicated measures foreseen if required during the fellowship.
  • The Programme will seek to ensure access for young people with disabilities and dedicated measures will be foreseen during the fellowship as needed.
  • Special attention will be paid to environmental protection and climate change in the training course, through the specialized EIB Chair on Climate Change at the STG.
  • Looking at sustainability, the Programme will aim at fostering a unique network across generations, continents, and cultures, aimed at connecting, empowering and inspiring rising leaders and professionals and stimulating intergenerational dialogue, whilst promoting a strong sense of commitment to social, economic, and development issues facing their communities in particular and the world in general.

In the 2022/2023 academic year, STG plans to allocate approximately 30 fellowships within the Young African Leadership Programme. All the applications are reviewed as long as they are submitted on time using the online platform. The EU will be part of the selection process.

In the first step of the selection procedure, all applications are reviewed based on how well they match the application criteria. 

In the second step of the selection procedure, the selection committee members provide a list of recommended applicants for the fellowship. The committee discusses the merit of the individual applications and also takes into account the match between the perceived needs of the given candidate and the opportunities the programme offers. In selecting potential beneficiaries, the Selection Committee will also pay particular attention to gender balance, fair presence of the different categories of actors (authorities, civil society, international organisations, etc.), as well as representativeness across sub-regional geographical areas in Africa. It will also look at creating opportunities for candidates who have not joined similar programmes in the past.

The result is a mutually agreed short list and a reserve list to be presented to the EUI Executive Committee for its consideration. Their decision is final and no appeal is possible.

The STG is not in the position to give advice on individual applications or to give feedback about the applications. Applicants cannot contact the decisionmakers in this process. The application deadline for the 2022/2023 fellowship is 7 April 2022 (23:59 CET). No extensions will be granted and late applications will not be accepted. The final decision is communicated to the applicants within four months of the application deadline by the Academic Service of the EUI.

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