Announcing: The Africa Is a Country Fellowship

Apply now to become an AIAC Fellow. Read here for details.

Contributing editor, Anakwa Dwamena in AIAC gear (Image courtesy of Dwamena).

With the support of the Shuttleworth Foundation and the Open Society Foundation, Africa Is a Country (AIAC) is proud to announce the launch of our inaugural Africa Is a Country Fellowship Program.

The purpose of the AIAC Fellowship is to support the production of original work and new knowledge on Africa-related topics that are under-recognized and under-covered in traditional media, new media, and other public forums. It particularly seeks to amplify voices and perspectives from the left that address the major political, social, and economic issues affecting Africans in ways that are original, accessible, and engaging to a variety of audiences.

Fellows will be writers and/or other cultural/intellectual producers who can contribute meaningfully to transforming and expanding knowledge about Africa and the diaspora. Each fellow will receive a grant of up to US$3,000 to create original work on a topic of their choice for AIAC over a 9-month period. While we expect that most fellows will produce essays and/or reporting and analysis, we are also open to work in other formats, such as photo essays, documentary videos, and more. Fiction, poetry, and fine and performing arts are not eligible for support from this program.

Topics may include (but are not limited to): work and worker rights; the climate crisis; women/gender issues; immigration/border politics; reactionary politics (neoliberal authoritarianism, xenophobia, Afro-capitalism); political alternatives to neoliberalism and state-led pan-Africanism, and social movements as well as African and diaspora history and culture. We are also open to considering important topics not mentioned here. Surprise us!

Regardless of the format in which they work, AIAC fellows will collaborate with our Media Department to translate their work into multimedia forms, such as short videos, audio documentaries, or podcast episodes (no prior experience with multimedia is required). Fellows will also represent Africa Is a Country on other media platforms as experts in their chosen subject. The work produced under the AIAC Fellowship will be governed under a Creative Commons license, in line with AIAC’s approach to ensure its content is widely accessible.

Budget guidelines:

Fellowship funds may cover time, travel, translation or other expenses. Limited additional funds may be available to support equipment or additional services on a case-by-case basis.

Fellowship requirements:

  • Expected output will vary according to the project. For instance, someone may want to write  a long essay and some short op-eds, write a long essay and make a short video, create written work and an episode or series of short podcast episodes, produce a photo essay or series of photo essays, etc. AIAC reserves the right of first publication on all output resulting from the fellowship program. Any output from the fellowship that AIAC declines to publish may be published elsewhere under a Creative Commons License.
  • Once the proposal is accepted and the outputs agreed on, AIAC does not control the process but will provide editorial advice and support. Fellows are required to check in with the AIAC editorial team on a monthly basis, so that AIAC can adequately support the work as needed and facilitate connections that allow fellows to support one another.
  • One of AIAC’s core missions is to bridge language gaps. Translation of finished work and partnerships with media outlets in languages other than English are encouraged. If needed, AIAC will work with fellows to identify potential partners. All work republished elsewhere must credit the Africa Is a Country Fellowship.
  • At the end of the fellowship, AIAC will ask fellows to submit a two-page report detailing the impact of the fellowship on their work and how funds were expended.

Applicant criteria:

  • Anyone may apply. Preference will be given to applicants who are at a fairly early stage in their careers as well as to applicants from or resident on the African continent..
  • Applicants do not need to make a living from their writing/creative output but rather must demonstrate they have the ability to produce important, compelling, and original work that shares and furthers AIAC’s mission.

The fellowship will end nine months after the grant is disbursed. (Funds may take one month to be disbursed after applicants are accepted.)

The fellowship application is now closed. Subscribe to the AIAC newsletter below for announcements about future rounds. Due to an overwhelming response, our announcement date has moved to mid-March, 2020.

For inquiries or problems with the application, email: fellows [at]

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