Press Release

The African Wildlife Foundation Celebrates the Graduation of 31 Fellows from the 2023 AWF Charles R. Wall Leadership Program

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Nairobi, Kenya – February 19, 2024 – The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is thrilled to announce the graduation of 31 fellows from the esteemed AWF Charles R. Wall Youth Leadership Program. The program, comprising two components — the Charles R. Wall Young African Policy Fellows and the Charles R. Wall Conservation Leadership and Management Fellowship (CLMF) — aims to cultivate communities of skilled and connected young African professionals poised to drive meaningful transformation in conservation across the continent. Sixteen fellows from the inaugural cohort of the revamped CLMF, representing 12 African countries spanning West, Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa, are part of the graduation class of 2023. The Conservation Leadership and Management Fellowship, emphasizes self-leadership, team leadership, and organizational leadership, brings together young African professionals from business, NGOs, the public sector, and community-based entities making impactful strides in environmental conservation.

The Charles R. Wall Young African Policy Fellows Program is proudly implemented in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme. Fifteen young fellows will graduate from this engaging year-long program, which trains professionals to be adept policy negotiators on International Environmental Governance, particularly focusing on the Convention on Biological Diversity. This cohort will be graduating 15 fellows from 14 countries, stemming from West, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Africa.

AWF CEO Kaddu Sebunya will deliver a keynote address at the hybrid graduation ceremony, that will be streamed online. The event will also recognize outstanding achievements with awards like Fellow of the Year, Best Innovation Project Award, and Best Policy Brief Award.

“In recent years, there has been a paradigm shift in African conservation efforts, with a notable emphasis on locally led initiatives prioritizing the involvement and empowerment of communities living alongside wildlife,” Kaddu said in his speech.

He added, “It is imperative that Africa takes charge of its conservation efforts now, harnessing the potential of its youth to safeguard its natural heritage for generations to come.”

This graduation not only marks the culmination of our fellows' journeys but also provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the strides we have made in engaging youth in conservation and to look ahead to the challenges and opportunities that lie before us. This program demonstrates AWF's commitment to fostering African-led solutions and effective conservation leadership. The Charles R. Wall Leadership Community, encompassing both fellowships, provides a platform for continuous learning, collaboration, and networking, building a powerful movement of young changemakers dedicated to securing a brighter future for Africa's wildlife and wild lands.

The call for applications for the 2024 cohorts closed on the 3rd of February 2024, with over 2,700 applications received—a 92% increase from last year. This is a testament to the growing interest and commitment towards conservation and sustainable development across the continent.

About AWF Charles R. Wall Leadership Fellowship

The AWF Charles R. Wall Leadership Fellowship aims to enhance African-led solutions and effective conservation leadership through two distinct capacity-building programs: The Young African Policy Fellows Program and the Conservation Leadership & Management Fellowship. Fellows from both programs are part of the Charles R. Wall Leadership Community, a platform for past, present, and future fellows to drive peer learning, network, and build a movement of young professionals skilled and passionate about influencing effective environmental decisions across the continent.

About the African Wildlife Foundation:

The African Wildlife Foundation is a leading conservation organization working to protect Africa's wildlife and wild lands. Founded in 1961, AWF has a long history of success in conserving iconic species and working with partners to create a future where wildlife and people thrive together.

Contact Eileen Kairu, AWF Strategic Communications Manager for any media queries on the program at