2021 Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellowships

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellowships Programme 2021 (Fully Funded)

Deadline: 14th October, 2020

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellowships form a selective programme designed to mentor future African leaders. Through this annual fellowship programme, we seek to deepen and broaden our growing network which continues to contribute its skills and learning to a better Africa.

The Fellowships offer the opportunity to work in the executive offices of either the AfDB (Abidjan), ECA (Addis Ababa) or the ITC (Geneva) with an annual stipend of $100,000.

ECA’s mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 SDGs and Agenda 2063. The mission is guided by ECA’s five new strategic directions which are: advancing ECA’s position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent’s problems and take local solution to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa’s position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues.

As part of its programme to support member States, UNECA is partnering with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to promote leadership development through a practical and on-the-job fellowship. The programme is aimed at enabling young African professionals to develop leadership capacity in a large institution, gain knowledge of the functioning of the United Nations, have better understanding of Africa’s socio-economic challenges and contribute to the analytical, advocacy and policy advisory work of the Commission.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (the “Foundation”), is financing this Fellowship position in the UNECA. The Fellow will perform the duties and responsibilities of the position at the headquarters of UNECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Mo Ibrahim Leadership Fellowship Programme is a selective Fellowship that prepares the next generation of outstanding African leaders by providing them with unique work opportunities at the most senior level of prominent African institutions or multilateral organizations, whose mandate is to improve the economic and social prospects of Africa. The Fellowship allows talented individuals to increase and enhance their professional capacity, with the intention of contributing to the governance and development of their countries thereby creating a pipeline of future African leaders.


The Foundation Fellow will be mentored by the Executive Secretary and/or a designated Representative in the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES). With this guidance, the Fellow will work on the design and implementation of strategic assignments in support of the ECA’s mandate of contributing to the governance and development of member states.

As part of his/her general responsibilities, the Fellow will be expected to:

  • Advise on and develop strategic initiatives to advance UNECA’s mission and objectives. S
  • Support the programmatic and administrative functions of OES
  • Plan, develop, and implement strategies for promoting regional integration.
  • Conceive, develop and promote innovations in UNECA development policies, including helping Africa to meet its special needs
  • Review activity reports and financial statements to determine progress and status in attaining objectives and revise objectives and plans in accordance with current conditions.
  • Undertake other duties as assigned.


The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellowship is for young female and male professionals, mid-career and executives alike who are nationals of ECA member States, residing anywhere in the world and are under the age of Forty (40) years.

SEE ALSO: The World Bank Group Young Professionals Program (WBG YPP) for IFC and MIGA

Consideration will, however, be given to women under the age of Forty-Five (45) years with children;

Work Experience

The Fellow should have at least 7 years of relevant work experience and must be able to demonstrate competencies in professionalism, teamwork, client orientation, planning and organizing and leadership potential.

S/he must also have proven:

  • Experience in strategic planning and execution;
  • Knowledge of negotiating and change management;
  • Enhanced skills in examining and re-engineering operations and procedures;
  • Experience in formulating policy, and developing and implementing new strategies and procedures;
  • Ability to communicate and interact with officials at all levels of government and to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community; Experience in research/analytical work in socioeconomic related area;
  • Experience with working on African issues is an advantage.
  • Ability to work in teams and simultaneously on several assignments


  • Fellow must hold a Master’s Degree in Economics, Social Sciences, International Development, Business Administration, Law, Finance, Engineering, or any discipline relevant to the work of UNECA.


English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For this, fluency in oral and written English or French is required. Working knowledge of the other is an advantage.

Other Skills

Sound knowledge of the Internet and basic software for word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations is required.


Fellow will work with the UNECA for a period not exceeding twelve (12) months and the Foundation will finance an annual stipend which will be paid monthly by the UNECA.

The selected Fellow will sign a contract with the UNECA before commencement of service in line with administrative instructions of the United Nations applicable to consultants. All expenses related to the Fellow’s official mission travel, including travel insurance will be met by the UNECA.

The Fellow cannot be employed on UN regular positions within six months of completion of a fellowship.

SEE ALSO: The Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowships for Social Change Innovators

The Foundation will ensure that the Fellow has his/her own medical insurance, child education and retirement plan arrangements.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation will also invite and pay for the Fellow’s participation in its annual Forum.

The travel costs for the assumption of duty and repatriation at the end of the appointment will be borne and paid out of the Funds provided by the Foundation.

Duration of Fellowship: This Fellowship is awarded for a period of 12 months.


Candidates must submit their applications together with the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • UN Personal History Profile (PHP) *
  • Copy of academic degree certificates, and;
  • Three letters of reference/recommendation.

Applications with all the supporting documents should be sent by e-mail to recruitmentppost@un.org with subject line: 2021 MO IBRAHIM LEADERSHIP FELLOW

*UN Personal History Profile can be created at https://inspira.un.org


For more information, visit the Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellowship Programme’s official webpage

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