Acumen West Africa Fellowship Program (January 2023 to December 2023)

Deadline: July 12, 2022.

Acumen West Africa Fellowship Program (January 2023 to December 2023)

Are you a social entrepreneur or leader working in Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, or The Gambia? Apply for the Acumen West Africa Fellowship Program (January 2023 to December 2023) and learn how to deepen your impact. West Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies – yet it will require a different type of leadership to ensure that the fruits of this growth are felt by all. It will require leaders grounded in integrity, and relentless in their pursuit of equity and justice.

Each year, the Acumen Fellowship in West Africa selects ~20 Fellows from across sectors, countries, and backgrounds who are tackling issues of poverty and injustice, and equips them with the practices and community needed to deepen and sustain their impact.

The Fellowship begins with a year-long fully-funded leadership programme, where Fellows remain in their role while taking part in a series of immersive seminars, workshops, and group practice. This is where practical skills meet moral imagination. The programme is designed to equip Fellows with the tools, mindset, and community to tackle poverty and injustice in their communities.

After the first year, Fellows become part of Acumen’s global community of social innovators – committed to lifelong learning, collaboration and accompaniment as they build a world based on dignity.


Here’s what they want from you:

  • Entrepreneurs: Leaders of both for-profit and nonprofit organizations providing critical goods or services to the underserved
  • Intrapreneurs: Leaders who are bringing to life new initiatives or approaches within the organization. The focus is on designing, testing, incubating and implementing ideas that enable the organization to pursue its purpose
  • Organizational Builders: Leaders who play an integral role in building the organization. The focus is on building the internal blocks, systems, and processes that enable the organization to pursue its purpose
  • Fellows are NOT required to be a citizen of West Africa to become a Fellow. However, they must reside in West Africa and the impact of their work should be focused on West Africa.
  • There is neither a minimum age requirement nor a maximum age cut off.

In the Fellowship Program You Will:

  1. Learn to catalyse and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of creating change at the personal, organisational, and societal levels
  2. Cultivate the ability to lead effectively when opposing but interdependent values are in tension
  3. Understand how to lead diverse stakeholders through recurring and complex challenges
  4. Develop the capacity to tell meaningful stories that speak across lines of difference and move others to action
  5. Examine your identities, values, and choices that have shaped your journey until now and cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your work in a broader context
  6. Explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through text-based dialogue
  7. Navigate systemic problems and design more effective interventions using moral imagination
  8. Question your assumptions and beliefs about leading effective change
  9. Be supported and accompanied by a cohort of like-minded peers persevering in the process of driving social change

Our curriculum draws on powerful leadership frameworks, tools, and approaches, including Adaptive Leadership, Authentic Voice, Good Society Readings, Immunity to Change, and Polarities Management.

Selection Process

The selection process is designed to understand the applicant’s track record, capacity to lead, and readiness for the program. Acumen selects Fellows based on:

  • A track record of creating impact based on a deep understanding of the issue;
  • A clear long-term vision to change the system they are working in;
  • An ability to influence change in their current work, formally or informally;
  • A readiness to undergo an intensive, year-long leadership journey.

How to Apply

Application process consists of these four steps:

Step 1: Apply online — Applications open 1 June and close 12 July

Step 2: Receive your online assignments in August

Step 3: Attend the Selection Conference in November 11 & 12 November

Step 4: Our Fellows are selected in December


For more information, click here.