Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders (Up to £30,000 Grant Amount) – APPLY NOW

The Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders is an esteemed program that aims to support and develop individuals dedicated to making a positive impact and leading change in West Africa.

Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders
Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders

In this guide, we’ll cover important details about the fellowship, including application deadlines, guidelines, goals, grant amounts, who is eligible, factors that may make someone ineligible, necessary documents, and tips for a successful application.

Grant Deadlines

Acumen usually reveals fellowship application periods with clear deadlines. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Apply online from June 1 to July 12.
  2. Get your online assignments in August.
  3. Attend the Selection Conference on November 11 & 12.
  4. Fellows are chosen in December. Stay informed by checking the official Acumen website or subscribing to newsletters.


For the Acumen West Africa Fellowship, consider these key guidelines:

  • Mission Alignment: Align your goals with Acumen’s mission for lasting change in West Africa.
  • Program Structure: Understand the fellowship structure, focusing on training, fieldwork, and collaboration.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Review criteria like commitment to social impact and leadership potential specific to West Africa.
  • Application Process: Follow the step-by-step application process, submitting a comprehensive package.
  • Impact Assessment: Showcase your contributions to social change in West Africa.
  • Leadership Experience: Highlight leadership roles and project initiatives you’ve led.
  • Values Alignment: Emphasize how your values align with Acumen’s mission.
  • Adaptability and Learning: Demonstrate adaptability and a strong learning mindset.
  • Authenticity: Be authentic in sharing your story and experiences.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Secure strong letters highlighting your character, leadership, and commitment.
  • Thorough Review: Ensure your application meets all requirements and format specified in the guidelines.

The Fellows Program focuses on

  • Self-Reflection: Fellows get space to broaden their perspectives and identify areas for personal growth.
  • Group Learning: Fellows practice new leadership approaches with a diverse group from various sectors and backgrounds.
  • Real-World Application: Fellows gain knowledge that can be immediately applied to their social change efforts for lasting impact.

Program Structure

  • Fellows stay in their jobs and attend three 6-day seminars throughout the year, with mandatory attendance.
  • Between seminars, Fellows engage in online readings and assignments to continue their learning journey.

Grant Amount

The grant amount for the Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders can be £30,000, covering fellowship-related costs like training, travel, and accommodation, as outlined in the fellowship guidelines.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders, you should:

  • Be Committed to Social Change: Show a strong dedication to making a positive impact by addressing social issues in West Africa.
  • Demonstrate Relevant Experience: Highlight your involvement in projects or work that has contributed to social impact, showcasing your ability to make a difference.
  • Come from Diverse Professional Backgrounds: The fellowship welcomes individuals from various professional fields, including business, nonprofit, government, or academia.
  • Educational Background: While there may not be strict educational requirements, having a solid educational background and a commitment to lifelong learning is beneficial.
  • Show Leadership Potential: Demonstrate your potential for leadership and a willingness to take on challenges, inspiring positive change in others.
  • Have a Connection to West Africa: Emphasize your ties to West Africa, showcasing an understanding of the region’s social dynamics and aligning your work with its specific needs.
  • Display an Entrepreneurial Mindset: Exhibit creativity in addressing social issues, reflecting an entrepreneurial mindset valued by the fellowship.
  • Work Well in Teams: Highlight your ability to collaborate effectively in diverse teams, as the fellowship often involves group projects and collaborative learning.
  • Communicate Effectively: Demonstrate strong communication skills, both written and verbal, essential for presenting ideas and engaging with stakeholders.
  • Show Adaptability: Showcase your adaptability and eagerness to learn, as the fellowship environment is dynamic, appreciating individuals who embrace change and growth.

Application Process

The application process for the Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders involves the following steps:

  • Visit the Acumen Website: Navigate to the official Acumen website at ( to find detailed information about the fellowship.
  • Explore Fellowship Details: Go to the fellowship section on the website to explore comprehensive details, including eligibility criteria, objectives, and the application process.
  • Check Application Deadlines: Take note of the application deadlines specified on the website. Ensure you have sufficient time to prepare and submit your application.
  • Create an Account: If required, create an account on the Acumen website to access the fellowship application portal.
  • Complete the Online Application: Fill out the online application form, providing accurate and detailed information about your background, experiences, and reasons for applying.
  • Upload Required Documents: Prepare and upload any necessary documents as outlined in the application guidelines. This may include your resume, project proposals, and letters of recommendation.
  • Submit Application: Submit your completed application through the online portal on the Acumen website. Ensure that all required information and documents are included.
  • Confirmation and Follow-Up: Check for confirmation of your submission and follow any additional instructions provided by Acumen. Keep an eye on your email for updates.
  • Application Review: Allow time for the Acumen team to review your application. Be patient during the evaluation process.
  • Interview (if applicable): If shortlisted, be prepared for a potential interview as part of the selection process. Follow any instructions provided for scheduling.
  • Notification of Results: Stay informed about the notification timelines. Once decisions are made, Acumen will communicate the results to applicants.
  • Acceptance and Onboarding: If selected, follow the instructions for accepting the fellowship and participating in any onboarding activities.

Documentation and Requirements

To apply for the Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders, you may need the following documents:

  • Resume/CV: Share a detailed resume or curriculum vitae highlighting your education, work experience, skills, and accomplishments.
  • Project Proposal (if needed): If required, create a thorough project proposal outlining your social impact initiative, detailing goals, methods, and expected outcomes.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Include recommendation letters from individuals who can speak to your character, achievements, and dedication to social change.
  • Educational Certificates: Provide copies of your educational certificates or transcripts to verify your academic qualifications.
  • Identification Documents: Submit a copy of a valid identification document, like a passport or national ID, confirming your identity and regional connection.
  • Professional Certifications (if applicable): Include copies of any relevant professional certifications to highlight your expertise.
  • Written Responses: Craft clear and concise written responses to specific questions or prompts in the application form.
  • Portfolio of Work (if needed): If applicable, share a portfolio showcasing your work, particularly if it demonstrates involvement in social impact projects or relevant skills.
  • Language Proficiency Certification (if required): Provide proof of language proficiency if the fellowship mandates it.
  • Other Supporting Materials: Include any extra materials specified in the application guidelines that enhance your submission, like examples of past initiatives or publications.

Tips for Successful Application

  • Show Impact Clearly: Explain how your work aligns with Acumen’s mission and can create a positive social impact.
  • Highlight Leadership Skills: Talk about your leadership experience and how it prepares you for active participation in the fellowship.
  • Align with Acumen Values: Illustrate how your values match Acumen’s dedication to bringing about lasting change and addressing deep-seated issues.
  • Stay True to Yourself: Share your genuine story and experiences; authenticity tends to resonate well with selection committees.
  • Adaptability is Key: Stress your ability to adapt, learn, and apply new insights, as the fellowship involves a dynamic learning environment.
  • Get Strong Recommendations: Secure letters of recommendation that speak to your character, leadership potential, and commitment to social change.
  • Thoroughly Understand Guidelines: Familiarize yourself with the fellowship guidelines to ensure your application meets all the specified requirements.


The Acumen West Africa Fellowship for Emerging Leaders provides an opportunity for individuals committed to creating positive change in their communities. Applicants need to adhere to the guidelines, highlight their distinct contributions, and demonstrate a sincere enthusiasm for social transformation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can apply for the Acumen West Africa Fellowship?

The fellowship is open to individuals in West Africa who show a strong commitment to social change, have a track record of addressing social issues and exhibit leadership potential.

What professional backgrounds are accepted for the fellowship?

The fellowship welcomes individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, including business, nonprofit, government, or academia.

Is there a specific age limit for applicants?

There is usually no strict age limit, but applicants are expected to demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to creating a positive impact.

Are there language requirements for the fellowship?

Language requirements may vary, and applicants should check the specific guidelines. Proficiency in English is often essential.



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