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APPLY: Yiaga Africa launches application for 2024 West Africa community organising institute 

Yiaga Africa, a non-profit civic hub of change-makers has launched the application for its 2024 regional community organising institute (COI) in West Africa.

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Yiaga logo

Yiaga Africa, a non-profit civic hub of change-makers has launched the application for its 2024 regional community organising institute (COI) in West Africa.

About the program

The West Africa Regional Community Organizing Institute (COI) is a training and capacity development program hosted by Yiaga Africa with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The program was formerly known as the Youth Organizing School. The program brings together a group of approximately 30-35 mid-career practitioners from West African countries who are working to advance democratic practices and economic and legal reform in contexts where freedom, human development, and good governance are fragile or at risk. From Ivory Coast to Cameroon, our program participants are selected from among hundreds of applicants every year for the significant contributions they have already made to their societies and their potential to make an even greater impact with some help from the training received.

The Institute’s alumni network includes over 400 alumni from Cameroon, the Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Their backgrounds and experiences are as diverse as the problems they confront in their home countries. Still, the one common feature is their commitment to building sound structures of democracy and development. The Institute always seeks to identify strong female leaders working to advance change in their local communities.

Alumni of the Institute have served as leaders of youth and community-based organizations, movement and campaign builders, civic activists, and influential members of the democracy and development community in their various countries.

Important Program Dates

The date for the 2024 COI is slated for May 2024. Applicants are required to participate for the entire duration of the Institute’s program. They must be sure that they can be absent from their professional obligations during that time and must make a commitment to attend the full program upon acceptance.


This program is aimed at mid-career practitioners working actively in the fields of democracy, development, and the rule of law. Applicants can be leaders of non-profit organisations, community-based advocates, social campaigners, policy reform advocates, journalists, and political party leaders. In their present capacity, applicants should play important and influential roles in their country’s political, economic, and social development. Participants should have demonstrated professional and personal achievements in a relevant sector of democracy, development, and the rule of law.       

Each year we strive to recruit a diverse group of 30-35 individuals who are at the right stage in their professional trajectory to benefit from this training and capacity development program to enhance their potential to promote democratic change in their home countries. 

A working knowledge of English or French is an important prerequisite for participation in the program. It is expected that each applicant has a solid command of written and spoken English or French to fully benefit from and participate in the program.

Selection Criteria

The organisation usually receives a large volume of applications each year to the Institute, and the selection criteria are important. Yiaga advises applicants to review the criteria below very carefully before submitting their application. Applications that do not meet these criteria will not be reviewed.

  1. This is not an academic fellowship but is meant for practitioners only. We value practical experience over academic credentials, and we admit participants from civil society, political society, community and student leaders especially applicants who hold leadership roles in their respective sectors to qualify for the Institute
  2. Applicants must be from and currently reside in one of the West African countries: Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
  3. Applicants must not be more than 30 years of age at the start of the Training in May  2024. 
  4. Applicants must be actively working in the field of democracy and development. 
  5. Applicants must have a solid command of written and spoken English or French. All program materials and sessions are in English and French. 
  6. Female applicants and persons living with disabilities are STRONGLY encouraged to apply.


The program’s interdisciplinary faculty includes leading community organisers and movement builders, political scientists, lawyers, and economists pioneering innovative research and analysis in the fields of democracy, development, and the rule of law.

Program Curriculum

According to Yiaga, the COI curriculum draws inspiration from Harvard Kennedy School’s “Leadership, Organizing and Action” course of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. The sessions will cover specialised topics on political and community organizing, effective policy advocacy, non-violent change, scenario building, power mapping, building and maintaining networks and coalitions, gender mainstreaming, and online organizing. Participants will learn strategies for effective engagement with government institutions, political parties, and regional bodies. The training module will include new themes such as negotiation, transnational organizing, and running effective civic organisations. The training will also strengthen the technical capacities of youth and women-led organizations in community engagement and promotion of democratic values and principles in West Africa.

Application Overview

To apply to the West Africa Regional Community Organizing Institute (COI), the application form is expected to be carefully filled out. The application portal will be open till the deadline, April 22, 2024. Due to the volume of applications, Yiaga strongly suggests that applicants should submit their application form as soon as possible. Applicants will be informed of their selection for the program by April 2024. 

All application materials must be submitted in English or French. The application contains the following sections:

  1. Applicant Information
  2. Essay Questions
  3. English Language Proficiency
  4. Video Submission
  5. Letters of Recommendation
  6. Personal Certification

Yiaga Africa and its partner, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) will cover all the costs of attending the institute.

To apply, click here

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