Acumen West Africa Fellows Program 2019 for emerging Leaders in West Africa (Fully Funded)

Starting in 2019, the Acumen West Africa Fellows program will bring together 20 extraordinary individuals per year from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and equip them with the knowledge, support system and practical wisdom to drive positive change in society. Over the course of a year, Fellows will take part in five week-long seminars, where they will receive the tools, training and space to innovate new ideas, accelerate their impact, build a strong network of social leaders from across their region and around the world.

The Acumen Fellowship program is an intensive leadership development program cultivating a pipeline of tomorrow’s social changemakers. Over the course of a year, Fellows remain in their jobs while participating in five in-person, multi-day immersive seminars and engaging in online content between seminars. Currently operating in Colombia, East Africa, India, Pakistan, and West Africa, the Fellows Program equips leaders from across the country or region with the knowledge, skills and community to become more effective, collaborative agents of change.

  • Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, policy makers, community mobilizers and social innovators
  • Men and women of all ages and education levels who are able to participate in a program conducted in English
  • Pakistanis who have a demonstrated history of impact, commitment and concrete connection to the region
  • Leaders with strong personal integrity, unrelenting perseverance and moral imagination
  • Committed individuals ready to undergo an intensive year-long personal transformation and leadership journey followed by an induction into the larger Fellows Community


  • Acumen covers all program-related expenses during the fellowship year. This includes all costs associated with the seminars including lodging, food, transportation and visas.


Adaptive Leadership

Based off the work of Harvard Professor Ron Heifitz, Adaptive Leadership is a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. The content supports Fellows’ ability, both individually and collectively, to catalyze and embrace the gradual and meaningful process of change.

Authentic Voice

Building off the work of Marshall Ganz, Fellows develop their capacity to articulate their story of self, us and now. Fellows are equipped to articulate a hopeful vision, speak across lines of difference, and move others to action.

Good Society Readings

The Good Society Readings explore the meaning of a just society and the moral and historical foundation of social change through a series of curated readings of great thinkers such as Plato, Amartya Sen and Nelson Mandela. Fellows reflect on core human values, seek common ground and cultivate a richer understanding of their social change work in a broader historical context.

Managing Polarities

Fellows are taught decision-making methodologies that empower them to embrace competing goals and navigate the tensions between them. In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to navigate ambiguity and cross lines of difference is critical.

Systems Thinking

Fellows explore the concept of Systems Thinking through frameworks and on the ground application by working collaboratively on live challenges. Fellows are provided with frameworks to better understand larger, systemic problems and design more effective interventions.

Programme Details

In-person Seminars

Our Fellows Program centers around five in-person seminars design to improve individuals’ capacity to innovate and drive change while remaining in their full-time jobs.

Virtual Content

Our unique virtual content enables Fellows to connect with peers and continue developing the skills to make lasting social impact between seminars.


We provide the space and security for Fellows to practice self-reflection, broaden their perspectives and identify areas for personal development.

Focus on Real-World Applicability

We design content that is focused on being relevant and applicable to Fellows’ everyday lives and social impact work.


  • STAGE 1: APPLICATIONS. Due Sunday, September 9th 2018 at 11:59 pm local time.
    All applications must be completed and submitted online. Following the initial submission, successful candidates will be invited to participate in Stage 2.
  • STAGE 2: ONLINE ENGAGEMENT. Instructions for Stage 2 will be sent on Tuesday, September 25th and all assignments must be completed and submitted online by Wednesday, October 10th 2018.  Successful candidates will be invited to participate in Stage 3.
  • STAGE 3: SELECTION CONFERENCE. Stage 3 is a mandatory day-long in-person engagement and will be held in mid-late November in each region.
  • FINAL SELECTION: Candidates selected to the 2019 cohorts will be notified by December 2018.

For More Information:

Click here to read more and apply

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