Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) Africa Board Fellowship 2018

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) invites applications for the Africa Board Fellowship 2018. The Africa Board Fellowship connects board members and CEOs through peer learning and exchange to strengthen the governance of financial institutions serving low-income clients in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Africa Board Fellows (ABF) program focuses on strengthening governance, improving risk management practices, and building strategic leadership abilities among leading board members and CEOs of microfinance institutions in sub Saharan Africa. ABF is designed to explore a variety of priority topics for the region, including board dynamics & responsibilities, risk management, strategy & managing sustainable growth, technology trends and innovations, navigating competitive and challenging environments, and client centricity.



Program Details

Program activities, structure, and content have been carefully designed to create an open atmosphere that allows for frank discussion among peers. Fellows identify their objectives for the program and then work with a program advisor on achieving those goals. Additionally, fellows have access throughout the program to a participant-led virtual community forum with tools, resources, content, and access to subject-matter experts. At the conclusion of the program, fellows stay connected as alumni, providing a network of leaders confronting similar challenges.

The fellowship is made up of three components:

  1. Peer Learning Seminars: World-class experts and leaders in microfinance and financial inclusion will facilitate and engage participants in an active dialogue on governance and risk. Seminars are an interactive combination of guided discussion and peer-to-peer exchange on governance, best practices and risk-management strategies, with an emphasis on fellows sharing knowledge and experience.
  2. Virtual Forum: Fellows engage in regular knowledge-sharing activities, online meetings, training and discussion forums. This virtual community forum provides regularly updated content on governance and risk, and the ability to speak with faculty, classmates or subject-matter experts. This content will be supplemented by webinars in which participants can connect on specific technical questions and share personal experiences.
  3. Program Advising: Personal advisors help fellows to establish individual and institution governance goals, working with them toward specific changes they seek to make. Advisory sessions provide a targeted approach to improving governance capacity, with fellows working to build plans and monitor progress against goals.

Benefits of Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) Africa Board Fellowship

  • Access to high-quality faculty
  • Opportunity to learn from the experience of others
  • High-caliber fellow participants
  • Platform for African MFI leaders to discuss, share ideas, and acquire new knowledge
  • Opportunity to connect with peers struggling with similar issues
  • Strong, practical, hands-on agenda with clear take-aways and motivation to implement
  • A flexible, personalized program that is tailored to the needs of individual fellows and MFI

Cost of Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) Africa Board Fellowship

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.

Eligibility for Africa Board 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.
  • They 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.

Application for Africa Board Fellowship

  • 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.
  • Applications for the Africa Board Fellowship are accepted on a rolling basis.
  • Fellowship classes start in the spring and the fall.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential for participation in the Africa Board Fellowship.
  • Access to reliable internet is essential for participation in the program.

Click here to apply.


For more information, visit Africa Board Fellowship.


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