Press Release

AWF and UNEP Announce the Second Cohort of the Young African Policy Fellows Program

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Chuck Wall Young African Policy Fellows 2023

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today officially announced the second installment of the Charles R. Wall Young African Policy Fellows Program. A total of 15 successful applicants will be taking part in the engaging year-long program.

This year, the leadership training program attracted over 850 applicants from all regions of the continent and some in the diaspora who are seeking to make an impactful change through purposeful advocacy engagements.

The first cohort saw the fellows attend global and regional conferences aimed at improving our policymaking processes and ensuring that local solutions are well-represented in regional and global platforms such as the Africa Ministerial Conference on the Environment, U.N. Climate Change Conference, the U.N. Biodiversity Conference, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and many others.

The partners have factored in the feedback and lessons learned from the first cohort of the Charles R. Wall Young African Policy Fellows Program who graduated last month on World Wildlife Day with inspiring testimonials on the impact the program has had in their career growth so far. The modules will be similar and improved to incorporate additional integral skills needed to progress in the negotiation space. The first cohort of fellows, who were also present at the launch to share their experience, has now officially joined the Charles R. Wall leadership community (Alumni program).

“As partners we are excited to unlock opportunities to young people in Africa. Youth are an integral part of who we are as a continent, and we cannot move forward towards our shared aspirations without having the right leadership. Having met the fellows during the shortlisting process, I am confident that we will also be learning from the fellows as much as they will learn from our pool of experts,” Fred Kwame Kumah, AWF’s Global Leadership Vice President, comments.

The vigorous selection process shortlisted a total of five young men and ten young women from 14 different countries (Egypt, Somalia, Kenya, Tunisia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Benin, and Cameroon) across the five regions in Africa, with a first-time representation from six new countries and a significant delegation from the Northern African region.

“To address the triple planetary crisis, we need to leverage on the skills and energy to learn and provide solutions within the young professionals. We anticipate growing a pool of young African negotiators who will propel the future negotiations for African biodiversity further taking from the current generation of African Group of Negotiators,” Levis Kavagi, Regional Coordinator, Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme, UNEP, Africa Region, emphasizes.

The fellows are set to have three virtual workshops before coming to Nairobi, Kenya, for an in-person workshop in July 2023.

This engagement falls under the broader Charles R. Wall Leadership Program that aims to enhance African-led solutions and effective conservation leadership through two distinct capacity-building programs: The African Policy Fellows Program and the Conservation Leadership & Management Program, whose first cohort is set to be announced in the coming weeks.

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and wild lands as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 to focus on Africa’s conservation needs, we articulate a uniquely African vision, bridge science and public policy, and demonstrate the benefits of conservation to ensure the survival of the continent’s wildlife and wild lands. Learn more at

About United Nations Environment Programme

UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information or to arrange interviews, contact Eileen Kairu from AWF at or Mohamed Atani from the U.N. Environment Programme at