Acumen West Africa Fellowship 2020 Application for Young leaders in West Africa

Acumen West Africa Fellowship 2020 Application for Young leaders in West Africa

Deadline: August 6th 2020

Acumen West Africa Fellowship 2020 Application for Young leaders in West Africa

Applications Open: Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and organization-builders from both public and private sectors model a new type of leadership grounded in hope and dignity. The next Acumen West Africa Fellowship runs from January 2021 to December 2021.


Are typically on one of the following trajectories: entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or an organizational builder whether for-profit, nonprofit, or in government.


Founding or leading a for-profit or nonprofit organization that provides critical goods or services to the underserved.


Supporting the growth of an organization, institution, or company focused on alleviating poverty or injustice but not as the
founder or CEO.


Creating innovative solutions to tackle poverty or injustice from within an existing institution by shifting its culture and building new collaborations.


  • Acumen covers all program-related expenses during the fellowship year. This includes all costs associated with the seminars including lodging, food, transportation and visas.

Fellows remain in their jobs and come together for four seminars, each lasting 6 days, throughout the year. Attendance at each seminar is mandatory. Between seminars, Fellows are expected to participate in and complete online readings and assignments.

What is the total time commitment required for the Fellowship?

The total in-person time commitment is about 24 days (4 seminars, 6 days each) over the course of the year, plus travel time to the seminar locations. Whenever possible we have scheduled seminars to run from Tuesday to Sunday.

Between seminars, you will be expected to spend additional time on program-related assignments, email correspondence and collaborative projects for approximately 3/4 hours per week.
Where will the different seminars and meetings for the program be held?

The seminars are typically held in or around major cities across West Africa. In the past, they have been held in:

  • Accra
  • Freetown
  • Lagos

For 2020, individuals will be notified the exact dates of the seminars upon being selected as a Fellow at the beginning of 2021.

Practical skills meet moral imagination in this intensive year-long leadership development program designed to equip extraordinary individuals with the tools, mindset, and community to tackle poverty and injustice in their communities.

Year 1

  • Join a diverse cohort of social change leaders in a rigorous year-long experience
  • Improve your capacity to innovate and drive change with a mix of in-person and online seminars
  • Part-time — you stay in your job while participating in four 5-day seminar in various locations across West Africa

Beyond Year 1

  • Be a part of a lifelong fellowship that extends beyond your first year
  • Join a larger local and global community committed to a world beyond poverty and injustice

What makes a fellows:

Fellows are extraordinary leaders who dare to embrace the difficult journey of social change. Here’s what we want from you—and what you can expect from your cohort.

  • Entrepreneurs: Leaders of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations providing critical goods or services to the underserved.
  • Intrapreneurs: Builders from any sector tackling poverty and injustice from within by shifting the institutional culture—and building new collaborations.
  • Organizational Builders: Leaders (other than the Founder or CEO) supporting the growth of institutions combating poverty and injustice

The Fellowship curriculum is centered around the principles of moral leadership:

  • Adaptive Leadership: Based on Ron Heifetz’s work, Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework that supports Fellows’ ability to catalyse and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of creating change.
  • Authentic Voice: Grounded in Marshall Ganz’s life’s work, the Authentic Voice curriculum allows the Fellows to develop the capacity to articulate a hopeful vision, speak across lines of difference, and move others into action.
  • Good Society Readings: Modeled off The Aspen Institute, the Good Society Readings explore the meaning of a just society, and the moral and historical foundation of social change through text based dialogue
  • Managing Polarities: Based on Barry Johnson’s work, Polarities aims to cultivate an individual’s ability to lead effectively when opposing but interdependent and equally important values are in tension.
  • Systems Thinking: Fellows explore the concept of Systems Thinking by working collaboratively on live challenges—enabling them to better understand larger, systemic problems and design more effective interventions.

Acumen West Africa Fellowship 2020 Application – How to Apply

  • Step 1: Leave us your information here and be the first to know when applications open
  • Step 2: Apply online – Applications open 1 July and closes 6 August
  • Step 3: Complete Stage 2 application between 7 Sept and 24 Sept
  • Step 4: Attend an in-person Selection Conference in mid-November
  • Step 5: Fellows are announced in January 2021

When will you find out?

  1. Step 1: Our Fellows are selected in early December
  2. Step 2: Fellows are announced in January 2021


For More Information: Visit the Official Webpage of the Acumen West Africa Fellows Program 2020

About Israel Wellington Jeremiah

Israel Wellington Jeremiah is the Admin and publisher at Empowerment Opportunities. A seasoned online publicist and an entrepreneur.

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