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The African Union Launches the Second Cohort of the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program

The African Union Launches the Second Cohort of the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program

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March 28, 2024

The African Union’s Women, Gender, and Youth Directorate, GIZ African Union, and Afrilabs officially launched the second edition of the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program. In line with Agenda 2063’s vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena” the fellowship program promotes citizen’s participation in governance while harnessing technology innovations in addressing governance and development challenges in Africa.

Speaking at the launch, Ms. Prudence Nonkululeko Ngwenya, Director of the Women, Gender, and Youth Directorate reiterated the significance of the program. “The initiative not only ensures young people’s meaningful participation in governance, but also enhances AU's capacity to utilize technology and innovation to address governance and development challenges in Africa”, she said.

The AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program stems from AU’s endorsement of the Digital Transformation Strategy for Africa aimed at leveraging digital technologies to promote integration, economic growth, job creation, and poverty eradication. The initiative further contributes to the implementation of the 1 Million Next Level Initiative by promoting youth employment. 

The Tech Fellowship is a 12-month robust program designed to identify and deploy highly skilled tech innovators across the continent. Fellows are embedded within various AU departments and organs to understand their operations, identify challenges, and propose innovative solutions. Since its inception in 2021, the program has yielded impressive results, with fellows developing tailored products and processes to improve data management processes, enhancing the delivery of AU’s mandate. 

In his remarks, Dr. Tobias Thiel, the Director of the GIZ Office to the African Union, reemphasized that the initiative advances women’s participation in digital innovation. “We see the fellowship as a strategic opportunity to continue breaking barriers for women, particularly, in the space of digital transformation”, he stated. Similarly, Anna Ekeledo, Executive Director of AfriLabs, commended the impact of the fellowship. “We have received very positive feedback on the impact of the fellow’s work, and also importantly, the impact on the lives, leadership capabilities, and career boosts of the fellows.” She expressed.

The AU Tech Fellowship represents a pivotal moment in Africa’s journey towards digital transformation. By nurturing the next generation of tech leaders and fostering collaboration with the innovation ecosystem, the AU is driving positive change and laying the groundwork for a prosperous and inclusive future.

Applications for the second cohort of the AU Digital and Innovation Fellowship Program are open at https://auinnovationfellowship.com/.

For further information please contact: 

Mr. Daniel Adugna | Officer-in-Charge, Youth Division, Women, Gender and Youth Directorate | African Union Commission | E-mail: AdugnaD@africa-union.org

Mr. Mahao Charles Matete | Human Resources Associate, Women, Gender and Youth Directorate | African Union Commission | E-mail: MateteM@africa-union.org

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ms. Arlette Akingeneye | Programme Associate, Women, Gender and Youth Directorate | African Union Commission | E-mail: AkingeneyeA@africa-union.org

Information and Communication Directorate, African Union Commission I E-mail: DIC@africa-union.org
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