MO Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellowship Program


About The Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships

The Ibrahim Leadership Fellowships were established in 2011 to identify and mentor the future generation of outstanding African leaders. Each year three Fellows have an opportunity to work in the executive offices of the AfDB (Abidjan), ECA (Addis Ababa), or the ITC (Geneva), with a stipend of $100,000. 

During their 12-month programs, Fellows gain both technical and leadership skills, while contributing directly to research and policy design. A special feature of the program is the opportunity to benefit from the direct mentorship of the heads of the host organizations. 

Fellows also become members of the Now Generation Network (NGN), through which they continue to contribute their skills and insights to building a better Africa.

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Fellowship Institutions

The International Trade Centre

“Today more than ever, developing countries face significant challenges, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the devastating health and economic consequences, the crisis provides an opportunity to build back better and bolder. The Mo Ibrahim Fellowship program offers bright young Africans the chance to support recovery through inclusive and sustainable trade and development solutions. In addition to deepening technical knowledge, the program provides invaluable exposure and an opportunity to develop essential leadership skills by working alongside the Executive Director, and her team. The unique experience equips Fellows with the expertise and confidence to make a meaningful contribution towards Africa’s growth.”

– Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, ITC 

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African Development Bank

“The next generation of African leaders will be those who transform Africa. The Mo Ibrahim Fellows have been chosen to learn and develop their leadership potential to make their contribution to the transformation. We are happy to welcome our fifth Fellow for the 2017 Programme, who we expect to assist our efforts to create sustainable jobs for millions of young Africans entering the labor market each year.”

-Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

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“The Mo Ibrahim Fellowship program offers bright young minds from Africa the opportunity to work on real-life issues that confront African nations and societies and also to develop as transformative leaders in their own right.

At ECA, the young Fellows have worked closely with the leadership of the Commission to support countries design and implement policies in response to ongoing challenges and aspirations of the member states.”

-Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General, and Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

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Application process

Applications for the 2022 Fellowships are open. Apply by 15 October 2021. 

Fellowships are open to young professionals, mid-career, and new executives from Africa with relevant work experience and a master’s degree.

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Eligibility criteria

  • National of an African country
  • Minimum 7 years’ of relevant work experience
  • Master’s degree
  • Under the age of 40, or 45 for women with children
  • Any additional criteria as set by the host

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Application details

African Development Bank (AfDB) 

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (the “Foundation”), is financing the Ibrahim Leadership Fellowship position in the African Development Bank (the “Bank”). The Fellow will perform the functions and duties of the position at the headquarters of the Bank in Abidjan, the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, or in any other location from which the Bank carries out its operations.

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International Trade Centre (ITC) 

This Fellowship opportunity at ITC is in collaboration with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Established in 2006
the Mo Ibrahim Foundation aims to support good governance and great leadership in Africa. The
Foundation works to:

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  • Stimulate debate on good governance;
  • Provide criteria by which citizens and governments can measure progress;
  • Recognize achievement in African leadership and provide a practical way in which leaders can build positive legacies on the continent when they have left office;
  • Support aspiring leaders for the African continent.

The Fellowship offers a mentorship experience with the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director
of ITC to prepare young Africans for leadership of major organizations and multilateral institutions.

ITC Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland

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