The Young African Leadership Programme funded by the European Commission is a tailor-made fellowship and training programme aiming at catalysing and fostering changes as envisioned in the Africa Agenda 2063 and in the Africa-EU Partnership. After a pilot cohort in Autumn 2021, the second cohort of Young African Leaders is expected in Florence in September 2022
The Young African Leaders Programme is a fellowship scheme that provides a unique opportunity for policy experts from Africa (all regions) to further develop their policy work and professional and leadership skills amidst international experts.
Furthermore, the Programme aims at creating new networks, connecting a strong cohort of leaders committed to driving change in their own countries and across the continent, as well as address the gender gaps and foster inclusivity in leadership roles.
In the dynamic academic environment of the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, selected participants will take part in workshops, training and skills development sessions, conferences, and study visits in Europe. Interaction with the other fellows, policymakers and the academic community at the EUI will make this a truly unforgettable experience.
The structure of the Programme will be as follows:
- Executive Training Seminars on thematic issues;
- Professional Development Workshops, providing a set of leadership skills, tools and concrete case studies;
- Study Visits to EU institutions, relevant academia, and international organisations
- Final individual written assignment
- Award of the YALP certificate of attendance
- Connection to network of scholars and practitioners knowledgeable in relevant transnational governance
The three-month leadership programme takes place from the 1 September 2022 to the 30 November 2022. Fellowships are fully-funded with a grant of € 2,500 per month. The selected African fellows must live in the area of Florence for the duration of their stay. The language of the Programme is English. Where possible, the STG will seek to integrate French. The Programme has an intensive training schedule, and is therefore a full-time and fully-funded fellowship scheme.
Who should apply?
The Programme targets 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. More precisely, the Programme is open to professionals (M/F/X), mid-career and executives alike, who are nationals of African countries, residing in Africa and are up to the age of 35.
This Programme is supported by the European Commission, Directorate-General for International Partnerships. This Call for applications is launched under a suspension clause, related to the final approval of the financing decision of the Programme by the European Commission. According to such clause, should not the financing decision be taken, the EUI/STG reserve the right to cancel the call without any prejudice to the Institute and potential beneficiaries.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Conditions of Award
Fellows must reside in the area of Florence for the duration of the Fellowship (1st of September 2022 – 30th of November 2022) so that they can take an active part in the activities of the EUI/STG and the fellowship programme (with the possibility of study visits outside Florence and Italy). The fellowship cannot be carried out remotely/online.
The basic grant is € 2,500 per month.
Successful applicants who receive other grants or salaries must disclose this to the EUI. The amount of the Fellowship will be fixed at a lower rate (minimum €1,750 per month) depending on the amount of the additional income (upon production of relevant supporting documents).
If applicable, family allowances will be added to the basic grant (see below).
A household allowance of up to € 300 per month is paid to a fellow with a partner if the partner lives with them in Florence and on the condition that the partner’s income is less than € 2,000 per month. The sum of income and allowance cannot exceed € 2,000 per month (i.e. if the income is more than € 1,700, the allowance will be paid only to top up to € 2,000).
An allowance of € 200 per month is paid for each dependent child. Fellows are entitled to these allowances if they can declare that they are not receiving any similar allowance from another source, and upon submission of relevant supporting documents (i.e. marriage or partner certificate, or proof of cohabitation in Florence; birth certificates).
For dependent children in full-time education and over the age of 18, a school or university certificate is required. No allowance is paid for dependent children over the age of 26.
The fellowship is not taxed by the EUI. Fellows are, however, required to comply with any other tax provisions which may be applicable to them.
Fellows must have adequate medical insurance coverage during their stay at the Institute. They can either provide proof of their own insurance scheme, or subscribe to the EUI’s private sickness and health insurance scheme at their own expense. See the Cigna Insurance Scheme for conditions.
Fellows (but not their families) receive reimbursement for the incoming trip from their place of origin to Florence, and for the outgoing trip to their destination at the end of their fellowship.
- First-class rail (travel by car is also reimbursed on this basis).
- Economy class air fare
The maximum amount for travel reimbursement amounts to €1,200 including both incoming and outgoing trip. Taxi expenses are not reimbursed.
Removal/ Re-installment expenses
There is no provision for removal or installation expenses.
How to Apply
Candidates should submit the following documents in the English language and in PDF:
- Curriculum Vitae (CV) in PDF.
- Short biography is requested in the application form. The bio serves the purpose of the selection process and will also be used for communications purposes if the applicant is accepted for the fellowship. It should be written in third person singular and be maximum 1000 characters with spaces.
- Statement of Purpose in PDF. The statement of purpose is where an applicants can tell their story about who they are and why they deserve to be part of the Young African Leaders Programme and the EUI and STG at large. It gives the admissions committee a chance to get to know you and understand how you add value to the Programme. The statement of purpose (maximum 4 pages) should be written in the following structure:
- Introduction – brief introduction by the applicant about their background and motivation behind applying to the Young African Leaders Programme at STG-EUI.
- Body – 1) relevant experience and accomplishments that relate to the applicant’s field of work, 2) professional goals as they relate to the Africa Leadership Programme, 3) reason of interest in the Programme and 4) what value the applicant can bring to the Programme
- Conclusion – summarise the statement and add key points on why the admission committee should select the applicant.
- Short summary of the Statement of Purpose (maximum 1000 characters)
- A copy of the highest educational certificate and the medium of instruction this highest level education was offered.
- Name and contact details of one referee, preferably a person who has worked with the applicant, whom the EUI may contact. Preference should be given to non-academic referees. Referees also have the option to submit a reference letter through the application portal (deadline 1 May 2022).
The application deadline for the 2022/2023 fellowship is 7 April 2022 (23:59 CET). There are two distinct phases in the application process:
- Register your application through the Online Application Form
- Submit your application by 7 April 2022 (23:59 CET)
Once you have registered your application you may continue to work on the application details and attachments until the deadline. Submit the application only when you have filled in all the information correctly and have successfully uploaded the final version of the attachments.
After submission, it will not be possible to update or modify your application. Please note that applications outside the Online Application Form will not be accepted, including hard copy or e-mail applications. If you have any questions on the application process or issues with the application portal that require assistance, please contact: email@example.com
For more information, visit https://www.eui.eu/apply?id=africanleaders