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Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship

Connecting talent cross-continentally to incubate bold ideas in order to address complex global challenges with scalable and sustainable solutions together.

For the past 20 years, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) has been at the forefront of thought leadership and utilization of cross-continental learning to advance global equality and equity. With our unique approach, EWB acts as an incubator for systemic innovation and leadership skill building. We invest time and talent in bold ideas that positively transform the way people and organizations behave, as well as in disruptive ventures that seek to address the root cause of complex global challenges. 

Launching in 2021, the Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students based in Canada and Africa to work together and develop innovative solutions to complex global challenges. 

Following a series of learning labs, Innovation Fellows are partnered across regions to learn, create and accelerate ideas as a way to build a sustainable and inclusive future.  With additional mentorship and coaching from sector experts, it is a unique chance for university students to grow their leadership, entrepreneurial and innovation capacity while engaging in cultural, academic and professional exchange.

What is a Canada-Africa Innovation Fellow?

The ideal CA Innovation Fellow demonstrates a strong interest and skill set in the follow areas as well as identifies as a student who:

  • Wants to be a leader at school, at future workplaces and in their community with the ability to navigate and solve complex challenges.
  • Wants to build international linkages and collaborate across perspectives with others from different regions in Canada and sub-Saharan Africa.  
  • Are tired of traditional internships or job-shadowing opportunities and instead want to partake in accelerator-type training and professional mentorship  
  • Want to engage in an innovative design challenge to create solutions for complex global problems
  • Who have budding entrepreneurial spirit and business mindset as this is a central component of creating viable solutions
  • Is concerned about the current state of many issues and is ready work to intentionally  address the roots and systemic causes of poverty and inequity

Applicants who are successful in their application process will be teamed with other participants from a different geographic region of their own in order to learn to work across cultures and learn to incorporate different perspectives as a core foundation of their portfolio work. 

What does the Program Involve?

This program offers a flexible opportunity that can work to fit a variety of schedules regardless of time zones as it will be remote in nature, providing a unique opportunity and infrastructure for participants to collaborate with a variety of personnel across the globe simultaneously like never before. Our unparalleled structure for the CAIF will equip participants with the skills and experience needed to thrive in a remote work environment as more career opportunities shift from traditional office spaces to flexible remote settings. Continuously advancing technologies and their reachability are radically transforming our ability to connect with others, allowing for deeper knowledge, empowerment and sharing between areas, while also creating spaces for new challenges to emerge. Thus, never has it been more important to connect across geographies and with people more intentionally than now.

For Canadian Applicants:

Applications open on February 15, 2021 and close on March 7, 2021. Please note: 

  • Applications are open exclusively to undergraduate university students through their university’s EWB Chapter. If you are unsure whether a Chapter exists on your campus, visit our Chapters page or contact fellowships@ewb.ca.
  • Candidates must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, holders of a Protected Persons status (e.g. refugee), or temporary residents on a student visa. 
  • At the time of application, Candidates must be 18 years of age, be a full-time undergraduate student; be presently enrolled in their second year of study or above; and have one or more years of undergraduate study remaining after summer 2021. 


For East-African Applicants:

Applications for East-Africa based university students will open in March 2020. Please stay tuned for more details.

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