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MasterCard/CFI Africa Board Fellowship for Finance Leaders in Sub-Saharan Africa 2018

With support from MasterCard Foundation and Dutch FMO, CFI is thrilled to be accepting applications for the Africa Board Fellowship! Sub-Saharan African MFIs, fintech, FSP and finserv leaders are encouraged to apply

Application Deadline: Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis

Eligible Countries: Sub-Saharan African countries

About the Award: Weak governance and risk management impede African microfinance growth and sustainability. Our program connects board members and CEOs through peer learning and exchange to strengthen the governance of financial institutions serving low-income clients.

The Africa Board Fellowship takes place over the course of approximately six months and has the three components of: in-person seminars, personal advising and a virtual collaboration space. The in-person seminars are two-and-a-half days long and they bookend the fellowship with an opening kick-off seminar and a closing seminar at the end. The personal advising aspect of the fellowship matches fellows with advisors to establish and work towards individual and institutional goals. The collaboration space provides fellows with an opportunity to continue interacting with each other, faculty, advisors and subject matter experts between seminars. The collaboration space will provide more in-depth discussions, peer knowledge exchange and collaboration. It will also be a rich source of tools, resources, and expertise specific to board members and CEOs.

Type: Fellowship


  • The Africa Board Fellowship (ABF) program is for board members and CEOs of institutions working toward financial inclusion throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The program requires an institutional commitment and suggests that the board chair, CEO and at least one other board member attend the fellowship program. Ideally, at least the board chair and CEO would attend together as part of the same class and then additional participants from the institution can join future classes.
  • On select occasions, individual representatives will be selected as fellows for the program on a case-by-case basis. We are looking for fellows who are eager to share their experiences, learn from their peers, implement changes and strengthen their governance, risk management and strategic planning.

Number of Awards: Not specified

Value of Award: 

  • The only out-of-pocket expenses for fellows to participate in the Africa Board Fellowship program are the travel costs of getting to and from the two in-person seminars.
  • Once fellows arrive at the seminars, costs associated with hotel accommodation and food will be covered for the duration of the seminars.
  • Fellows would cover any additional costs incurred if they decide to extend their travels, bring additional guests, or exceed the specified allotment for hotel incidentals. All fellows are required to stay at the location being provided for the seminars.  

Duration of Programme: Six months. Fellowship classes start in the spring and the fall.

How to Apply: Fellows are accepted into the ABF program on an institutional basis. It is preferred that from each institution the CEO, board chair and at least one other board member participate in the fellowship. The CEO and board chair should first attend together in the same class and additional board member(s) can either attend in the same or a future class.

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