The Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) in partnership with the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg, South Africa, is pleased to announce this call for applications to the Innocent Chukwuma African NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (ICLTFP), formerly known as the African NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LTFP). The Fellowship is funded by the Ford Foundation. 

The decision to rename the program after Innocent Chukwuma, who until his death in April this year, was the regional director of the Ford Foundation West Africa office, arose from the combination of the significant role he played in setting up AROCSA and establishing the LTFP; AROCSA’s consideration of the best way to honour his legacy; and from suggestions from some of the members of the last cohort of the LTFP which took place for the first time on African soil in Ghana from 1st March to 30th May, 2021.

At AROCSA’s last quarterly board meeting which took place in September 2021, a unanimous decision was made to rename the program after Innocent Chukwuma. The decision was subsequently communicated to his family through his wife; Mrs. Josephine Chukwuma, who was deeply appreciative of the consideration, and happy to give her blessings to AROCSA’s request. Her personal statement on the role Innocent Chukwuma played in the birthing of AROCSA and the establishment of its key programs is appended to the Call for Applications for the 2022 iteration of the ICLTFP. We pray that his soul continues to rest in perfect peace and that the Almighty continues to give his family the strength to bear his loss.

As part of efforts to further ground the program in the realities of the African experience, AROCSA is partnering with the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg, South Africa to deliver the next couple of iterations of the program.

Application to the 2022 ICLTFP is now closed.

About the Program

The Africa Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LFTP) began in 2018 under the moniker of the Nonprofit Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (NLTF Program), with support from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and the Ford Foundation. It was started due to the recognition of the urgent need for an NGO leadership transition program to aid sector leaders – civil society and NGO leaders – who are considering transitioning out of their positions in creating a supportive infrastructure. The program’s chief purpose is thus to help sector leaders prepare and position their NGOs to be sustainable, vibrant, and continue to thrive after their exit from the organisation. It would enable both the leaders and organisations successfully make the shift, and in so doing create spaces for a new generation of leaders in the social sector to not only emerge but also have platforms to apply their creative and youthful energies. Transitioning leaders would develop succession plans within their own organisations, contemplate their personal transition plans, and preserve their knowledge and experience.

The inaugural year began with 2 cohorts (1 in spring and 1 in fall) which have since evolved to a single annual cohort since 2019. The Fellowship program is hosted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (LFSOP) of Indiana university, Indianapolis.

The objectives of LTFP in Africa are to:

  1. Contribute to the process of establishing a supportive infrastructure for leadership transition within the NGO movement in Africa.
  2. Promote creation of leadership spaces for next generation of leaders in African civil society to grown and strive.
  3. Increase documentation of leadership experiences/reflections and renewal processes within civil society in Africa.

The Leadership Transition Fellowship Program in Ghana

Due to the pandemic and the ensuing travel restriction, the 2020 LFTP was postponed from Fall 2020 to Spring 2021. The fellowship which was supposed to run from September 1 to November 30, 2020 at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy in Indiana University, was instead held from March 1 to May 28, 2021 at the University of Ghana Business School Accra, Ghana.

This fourth cohort of the LTFP was the first time the program was hosted in Africa. Other than the change in location, the program followed a similar format to the that of its previous iterations with fellows attending a retreat, philanthropy workshops, seminars, and one on one sessions facilitated by program partners, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy from Indiana University who interacted with the fellows virtually.

Thanks to the support of the University of Ghana Business School in Accra, the fellows learned a lot about Ghana through guided tours through the city. They also paid visits to three CSOs/NGOs operating in Ghana: West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), STAR-Ghana, and Oxfam Ghana. They presented each organization with Certificates of Appreciation from AROCSA and program partners the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organisations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

To ensure that the program’s aim of aiding leaders to prepare their organisations to be sustainable, vibrant, and continue to thrive after their exit as well as create spaces for a new generation of leaders, the fellows spent lot of their time working on their succession plans and personal transition plans as well as preserving their knowledge by writing chapters about their experiences as NGO leaders.

As part of the closing out activities, the fellows made their final presentations of their work and learnings over the course of the program on May 20th, 2021. This was followed by a debrief on May 25th, 2021 where they shared their feedback on how the program was conducted this year.

During the debrief, the fellows highlighted their gratitude for the time and space the program provided them to reflect on and document a lifetime of work. They felt more empowered at the end of the process. Due to the success of the program, the fellows were excited to take on AROCSA’s mandate to bridge the gap between research and practice in their communities.

The program rounded up with a farewell dinner on May 26th, 2021. In attendance were the Fall 2020 cohort, AROCSA Board Member Dr. Esi Ansah, and AROCSA Programs Director Shaninomi Eribo. Each fellow was presented with a Certificate of Completion for their hard work during the program.

Biography of Dr. Bhekinkosi Moyo

Dr. Bhekinkosi Moyo is a writer, author, researcher, and thought leader with keen interest in questions of African resources, democracy, and governance. He has championed the African discourse on philanthropy, contributed to the growth of many African civil society formations and has taken part in most of the continental processes of development and governance. He has written extensively on African philanthropy, civil society, and governance. Equally, he has gained considerable experience in management, leadership, and strategic roles over a significant period.

Profile of Shaninomi Eribo

Shani began his development sector career in 2011 leading rotating multicultural teams on face to face fundraising campaigns across the entire NorthEast of Scotland on behalf charities such as Oxfam, Marie Curie Cancer Care, and the Anthony Nolan Trust. Prior to that, he successfully managed the delivery of high-end residential and hospitality development projects valued at over $50M along the Lekki corridor.

He joined ActionAid in 2013 where he drew on fundraising experiences acquired in the UK to drive the launch and implementation of ActionAid’s structured individual regular giving fundraising program; a ‘first-of-its-kind’ by an international charity in Nigeria which sought to raise unrestricted funds locally. This in addition

In 2016, he joined the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG); Nigeria’s leading member based business policy advocacy organization as Donor Relations & Fundraising Manager where he initiated the development of the organizational strategy for 2016-2018, in addition to supporting the hosting of several events including its flagship annual Nigerian Economic Summit, and driving fundraising across its 9 active policy commissions covering economic sectors ranging from Agriculture and Food Security, to Science and Technology.

He has also provided fundraising consultancy services to indigenous NGO’s including recently working with an agricultural technology start up funded by Propcom Maikarfi to define its business and revenue models.

He holds an MSc in Corporate Communications & Public Affairs from the Aberdeen Business School in Scotland, and a BSc in Estate Management from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-ife, Nigeria. He also holds a PRINCE2 Foundation certificate in Project Management and has benefitted from several in-house trainings in Rigorous Programme Management delivered by the Boston Consulting Group in Lagos, as well as several fundraising trainings covering individuals, corporates’ and institutions in Aberdeen, Bangkok and Johannesburg.

He is passionate about protecting people and the environment, and enjoys reading, listening to world music, playing chess, pool, and travelling.

Profile of Amina T. Banu

Amina T. Banu is a media producer. She has worked across the media industry for almost a decade in the UAE and Nigeria in writing, editing, public relations, online content creation, and filmmaking. She began her professional life in the Marketing and Public Relations industry in 2013 in Dubai, UAE. Most notably, she worked for a boutique public relations firm – The PR Professionals where she was tasked with communications, client relations, and talent and event management. Since then she has honed her skills in communication, media production, and event management across industries from fashion to IT.

She has also had experiences in the civil society sector in Nigeria. In 2015 in Abuja, Nigeria, Amina headed a social media team with the Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) during Nigeria’s presidential and gubernatorial elections. In the run up to the election she worked as YIAGA’s online content creator and co-hosted voter education radio programs.

She has a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Communications Studies and an MA in Media Production.

Biography of Dr. Ijeoma Nwagwu

Dr. Ijeoma Nwagwu earned her doctorate in Law (S.J.D) and Masters in Law (L.L.M) degrees from Harvard Law School and was awarded the Landon H. Gammon prize for academic excellence. After attending the Nigerian Law School, Ijeoma worked as legal counsel for the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), where she also produced documentaries on law, human rights, and development themes with Channels Television, Lagos and the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA). Ijeoma taught International Trade Law and Human Rights at St. Mary’s University College, London and was on the research team for the World Bank Assisted Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (STEP-B) project in Nigeria. She has also conducted research training for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in Senegal. Ijeoma is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association.

Biography of Dr. Godwin Murunga

Dr. Godwin Murunga is a historian and political analyst of Kenyan origin. He is the Executive Secretary of CODESRIA. He has lectured at the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Nairobi. He was the director of the Africa Leadership Centre in Nairobi. He was a member of the Executive Committee of CODESRIA for two consecutive terms (2005-2011). Dr. Murunga has many years of robust scholarship under his belt, evidenced by the incisive analysis that characterized his numerous scholarly publications. He also has valuable teaching and management experience and a deep knowledge of the higher education landscape in Africa.

Biography of Ms. Kareman Shoair

Ms. Kareman Shoair has a Masters degree (MA) in Economics from the American University of Cairo in Egypt. She is an Adjunct Faculty in the American University of Cairo’s Economics Department and a Research Manager at the John D. Gerhart Centre for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement. She is also a board member for the Arab Foundations Forum (AFF).

Biography of Dr. Esi Ansah

Dr. Esi Ansah is a founding partner and the current CEO of Axis Human Capital Ltd. She is an Assistant Professor at Ashesi University College. Esi is active in her community and currently serves as the Executive Director of two non-profit organizations – the Paul A. V. Ansah (PAVA) Memorial Foundation and the Association of Ghana’s Elders (AGE), which she co-founded. She is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa (ALIWA) and was in July 2015 appointed as a member of the West Africa Board. She was honoured by the New York-based The Network Journal (TNJ) as one of the journal’s “Forty under Forty” African Achievers in 2010.

Biography of Mr, David Kode

David Kode is the Advocacy and Campaigns Lead for CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organisations and activists dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. In the past, he has worked with the organisation as a Policy and Research Officer. He has worked with UNICEF South Africa in the Office of the Deputy Representative. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of Buea, Cameroon and a Masters Degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

Biography of Dr. Pinkie Mekgwe

Dr. Pinkie Mekgwe is International IDEA’s Senior Regional Adviser for Africa and West Asia and her work focuses on strengthening programmatic and administrative coherence and performance. Before joining International IDEA in 2018, she was Executive Director of Internationalism at the University of Johannesburg for the past six years. She also previously served as Deputy Director at the Office of International Education and Partnerships of the University of Botswana and as Programme Officer for the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). Previously she was a lecturer at the University of Botswana, visiting researcher at the Witwatersrand Institute of Social and Economic Research, and a visiting lecturer at Malmö University in Sweden.