Dakar, Senegal,25 March 2017 (ECA) – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is revamping its fellowship programme to ensure it is relevant and makes sustained contributions to Africa’s transformation agenda.

The new look fellowship programme was unveiled during Africa Development Week in Dakar under the theme “Growth, inequality and unemployment”.

Capacity Development Division Director, Stephen Karingi, said the ECA fellowships are being re-aligned with the organization’s greater mandate of promoting the economic and social development of its 55 Member States, fostering intra-regional integration and promoting international cooperation for Africa’s development.

“In October 2012, ever changing the ECA embarked on a strategic retooling and reorientation process to ensure continuous relevance to the ever-changing dynamics of Africa’s development,” said Mr. Karingi. “We want the fellowship programme to continue to provide an avenue for knowledge sharing and provide opportunities for Africa’s youth so they can contribute to shaping policy on the continent even at a young age.”

The new fellowship framework fits into the four key areas identified by ECA as fundamental to ensuring regular, relevant and sustained contributions to Africa’s transformative agenda. These are: cutting edge policy research, knowledge delivery, dynamics for an integrated and coherent approach and aligning corporate incentives and support systems.

Mr. Karingi said the realignment of the current fellowship programme is meant to ensure a better fit within the new Capacity Development Strategy and to respond proactively to the capacity development needs of Member States.

This framework is developed and fits within the four key areas identified by ECA as fundamental to ensuring regular, relevant and sustained contributions to Africa’stransformative agenda. These are: cutting edge policy research, knowledge delivery, dynamics for an integrated and coherent approach and aligning corporate incentives and support systems.

The main objectives of the fellowships include supporting young African scholars acquire professional knowledge and operational experience as fellows and to apply this new and innovative knowledge to help Africa’s transformative agenda; to provide opportunity for young African scholars to gain exposure working in an international environment; and to build a community of experts in Africa that can serve as a resource for formulating, implementing and monitoring development activities at the national, sub-regional, regional and international levels.

A minimum of 40 fellows shall be recruited, trained and mentored annually by the ECA. At least six of the students will be ECA Prize Fellows, 30 ECA Regular Fellows, and the rest would be partner-sponsored fellows.

The ECA prize fellowship is a high-level fellowship programme that will be implemented in conjunction with African universities and institutions of higher learning on African issues both within and outside the continent.

Its aim is to provide recently graduated African youth, both on the continent and in the diaspora, who have excelled in their fields of study, an opportunity to experience and be part of policy and research work at a pan-African level.