Acumen East Africa Fellows Programme 2023 Cohort (Fully funded)

Deadline: 28 November 2022

Deadline: 28 November 2022

Applications open for a fully funded Acumen East Africa Fellows Programme 2023 Cohort, a leadership development program aimed to give social innovators the tools they need to accelerate and sustain their influence as they work to create a just, inclusive, and sustainable world.

The Acumen East Africa Fellows Programme unites 20 extraordinary people who are fighting poverty and injustice in their communities each year, giving them tools, support, as well as community they need to improve their leadership and the ability of their ventures to grow and effect real change in East Africa. After their first year, Fellows join Acumen’s global network of social innovators, which is dedicated to supporting its members as they bring about change by fostering lifelong learning, cooperation, and mentoring.

An intensive leadership curriculum is part of the Fellowship’s opening phase. Fellows continue to work while participating in a series of multi-day online lectures. These are connected by group practice and are interspersed with online group and individual tasks. Here, practical knowledge and moral imagination converge. The program aims to improve a Fellow’s ability to drive social change and address issues of inequality and poverty.

Year 1
  • Join a diverse cohort of 20 leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and Ethiopia
  • Acumen Fellows drawn from diverse sectors, disciplines, organisations and social change journeys
  • All programme costs covered by Acumen Academy East Africa
  • Multiple virtual multi-day seminars and workshops, paired with individual and group online assignments between seminars
  • Learning immediately applied to your life and work
  • Peer coaching that challenges and accompanies you in your social change work
  • Cultivate a deeper understanding of yourself and your work in a broader context
  • Navigate uncertainty and embrace the meaningful process of creating change
Beyond Year 1
  • Join Acumen’s growing community of social innovators and builders accompanying each other from across the globe committed to a world beyond poverty and injustice
  • Opportunities to network, collaborate, as well as learn from and share experiences with other Acumen social innovators both locally and globally
  • After the first year of the Acumen Fellowship, fellows take part in a range of opportunities designed to both further their impact and build their communities
  • Throughout the fellowship year, Acumen will pay for all associated costs. This covers all seminar-related expenses, including hotel, meals, travel, and visas.
  • The Fellowship Program will teach you how to spark and support the gradual but significant process of bringing about change at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
  • Develop the capacity to lead well when conflicting but interrelated ideals are present.
  • Know how to guide various stakeholders through frequent and difficult situations.
  • Develop your ability to tell compelling stories that cut across differences and inspire people to take action.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your work in a wider context by reflecting on the identities, values, and decisions that have formed your path up to this point.
  • Through text-based discourse, investigate what it means to live in a just society and the ethical and historical basis of social change.
  • Use moral imagination to navigate systemic issues and create more efficient responses.
  • Examine your presumptions and views around implementing change successfully.
  • Be encouraged and guided by a group of persistent peers who share your goals for bringing about social change.
  • Adaptive Leadership, Authentic Voice, Good Society Readings, Immunity to Change, and Polarities Management just a few of the strong leadership theories, techniques, and approaches incorporated into the program.


  • English is the language used for all training and seminars. To ensure that Fellows can contribute and benefit the most from this program, conversational English fluency is a must.
  • We consider applications from citizens of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, and South Sudan. We will, on an exceptional basis, consider applicants who demonstrate a concrete connection to the region (ie. long-term employment, residency, the focus of the social change project).
  • Candidates who have attended courses at Acumen Academy, taken part in other fellowships or leadership programs, or both encouraged to apply.
  • Each cohort of Acumen Fellows must include participants who have never before participated in an Acumen Fellowship.

Our application process consists of these four stages.

  • Stage 1: Apply online — what are you telling us? Open 24 October and close on 28 November
  • Stage 2: Complete your online assignments — what are you showing us?
  • Stage 3: Attend the Selection Conference — why is this the right time for you to be a Fellow?
  • Stage 4: Start the Acumen Fellowship in May.

For further information, visit Acumen

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