Akili Dada’s fellowship program grows out of our belief that African women, especially those from poor communities, are best positioned to design solutions to the challenges facing those communities. The goal of the program is to build the capacity of some of the continent’s most innovative young women changemakers to drive solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing African society.
The Akili Dada Fellows program awards year-long fellowships to young women leaders engaged in social change projects of their design. The program serves as an incubator providing financial, intellectual, mentoring, and networking resources to young women as they grow their projects to scale and sustainability.
These fellowships were created in direct response to the absence of African women among the ranks of those celebrated in existing social entrepreneurship incubators.
Fellowship selection is based on the strength of a candidate’s social change project, previous leadership initiative and experience, willingness to learn from peers and more experienced mentors, and a willingness to share their own skills with peers and intended beneficiaries. Fellows must have deep roots in the communities they seek to transform and come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Selection is not necessarily based on past academic performance, as a strategic aim to invest even in those young women who have not previously had access to formal education.
Akili Dada Fellows benefit from a modest stipend to sustain themselves for the duration of the fellowship, a series of seminars from experts in the field and site visits to successful social change organizations; an assigned mentor; access to the Akili Dada network of funding partners and social change agents; and access to Akili Dada’s office facilities. By the completion of the fellowship the Fellow is expected to be leading a strong, sustainable and accountable initiative that is bringing about measurable social change.
If you would like additional information about the fellows’ social change projects, please contact Joyce@akilidada.org.