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Please review the following information carefully before submitting your application at the bottom of the page.

What is the EWB Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship?

Fellowship Overview

Established in 2021, the Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship is a core program of Engineers Without Borders Canada. This program was conceived to offer undergraduate engineering and STEM students from Canada and recent graduates from East Africa the opportunity to collaborate and apply their engineering and tech skills to devise innovative, actionable answers to intricate global challenges, all while fostering a profound sense of cultural awareness.

The Fellowship has a two-pronged emphasis: (1) It cultivates the Fellows’ professional growth and leadership prowess through intensive experiential learning sessions akin to accelerators, complemented by mentorship from seasoned industry experts; and (2) It provides the Fellows with an international, cross-cultural opportunity where they can tackle design challenges aimed at crafting sustainable, equitable, and implementable solutions to pressing global concerns.

Over a span of four months, Fellows are immersed in thorough training, garnering the necessary support to conceptualize bespoke solutions, strategies, or methodologies that target systemic obstacles faced by marginalized communities. By the culmination of the program, Fellows are poised with the crucial tools, insights, and blueprints to introduce their pioneering solutions.

Fellow Eligibility and Selection Criteria

To apply for the Innovation Fellowship, Candidates must:

  • be above the age of 18 prior to the time of application; 

  • be enrolled in a Canadian university or technical institution as a 2nd year undergraduate student or above in engineering or other STEM programs with at least one more year of classes left;

  • be based in Canada as a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident on a valid student or work visa, or holder of a Protected Persons status (e.g. refugee);

  • have an interest in applying engineering and/or tech skills to find solutions and innovations around climate change;

  • have the drive, ambition, and interest to find new ways to solve complex challenges;

  • have the capacity to gather comprehensive information on complex problems or situations, and the ability to evaluate and analyze information accurately in order to identify key issues and offer viable solutions;

  • exhibit problem solving and beginners mindset to create solutions with the potential to positively impact millions of people across Canada and the world;

  • have the drive to build international linkages and collaborate across perspectives with others from different regions in Canada and East Africa;

  • be available to engage in virtual preparation sessions and learning modules from March to May 2024 and participate in the in-person programming from May to August 2024;

  • commit to actively participating with your post-secondary institution’s EWB Chapter for the 2024/25 academic year - if your institution does not have an EWB Chapter, you will commit to working with EWB’s National Office to establish a Chapter;

  • be willing to inspire and educate people in your own community on what you have learned through this program (e.g. at Chapter or EWB events);

  • be comfortable with using English as a main language of communication.


EWB's Commitment to Invest in our Fellows

People bring powerful ideas to life. At EWB, we identify, encourage and equip talented leaders to lift the collective prospects of our planet. We spot potential and invest in people who turn big ideas into big impact. As a 2024 Canada-Africa Innovation Fellow, you will have a unique opportunity to:

  • Gain practical insights and hands-on experiences to become a global change maker and system change leader by addressing sustainable development challenges, offering invaluable hands-on engineering experience that's rare to find in conventional academic settings;

  • Participate in CAIF sponsored events and learning opportunities;

  • Refine your technical skills while also enhancing engineering and project management abilities with experiential workshops, learning labs, and mentorship;

  • Connect to a global network of industry experts, mentors, and like-minded change makers;

  • Travel to East Africa, living in both urban and rural settings through an international exchange program;

  • Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by engaging directly with the challenges faced in regions like rural communities, contributing to meaningful and sustainable development making a difference in the world;

  • Attend a post-program graduation ceremony where participants are awarded certificates and recognized as EWB Canada fellows and alumni of the Canada-Africa Innovation Fellowship Program, unlocking further networks and opportunities for your professional, leadership and entrepreneurial growth.

Program Costs

The full cost of the Fellowship is $25,000 per participant, with Canadian Fellows expected to secure 50% of the program costs at $12,500. EWB will provide advice around how you can secure funds, including through your Chapter, your faculty, and other avenues.

What is covered by the program costs:

  • Air travel to East Africa and back

  • Accommodation and meals while overseas

  • Travel insurance

  • All vaccinations required for entry - EWB will cover the co-pay once you have applied through your school insurance

  • In-country travel from program-related events

  • Data and phone service


Important Dates (Canada-Based Applications Only)

  • Applications Open: 02 October 2023

  • Application Deadline: 01 December 2023

Applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to submit applications at their earliest convenience, as space in the program is limited. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

  • Interviews: 1st and 2nd round interviews to be scheduled between 04 December 2023 and 23 January 2024

  • Application Results: Late January 2024

  • Program Start: March 2024 (virtual sessions) and May 2024 (in-person program in East Africa)

  • What are EWB's Core Values? | Quelles sont les valeurs fondamentales d’ISF?
    At EWB, we want to see a world where everyone’s basic needs are met. A world where everyone has access to the opportunities needed to thrive. In order to accomplish this, all of our work is grounded within our 6 core values which are: Strive for humility, Invest in people, Courageously commit, Ask tough questions, Dream big & work hard, and Address root causes for impact *** Chez ISF, nous souhaitons voir un monde où les besoins fondamentaux de chacun·e sont comblés, un monde où chacun·e peut réaliser son plein potentiel. Afin d’y arriver, l’ensemble de notre travail est encadré par 6 valeurs fondamentales : faire preuve d’humilité, investir dans les gens, s’engager courageusement, poser des questions difficiles, rêver en grand et travailler dur, et attaquer les causes profondes pour avoir une incidence.
  • What are the benefits of getting an EWB membership? | Quels sont les avantages de devenir membre chez ISF?
    There are a variety of benefits to becoming a member of Engineers Without Borders Canada and they speak to a multitude of people. EWB approaches projects differently and acts as an incubator for social change. We focus upon addressing the underlying systems and processes that support critical infrastructure. Thus we work on developing and providing resources for our members to become systems change leaders where they unlock trainings, networking as well as local and international opportunities to address the unlaying causes of inequality. *** Les avantages de devenir membre chez Ingénieurs sans frontières Canada sont nombreux et variés et s’adressent à toutes sortes de personnes. ISF aborde ses projets avec une approche différente et agit à titre d’incubateur pour les changements sociaux. Nous nous concentrons sur les systèmes et les processus sous-jacents qui soutiennent les infrastructures essentielles. Dans cette perspective, nous élaborons et fournissons des ressources à nos membres pour qu’ils et elles deviennent des leaders en changement systémique. Ce sont des ressources à travers lesquelles ils et elles cheminent dans les formations, créent des liens avec les membres de notre communauté et ont accès à diverses occasions locales et internationales de jouer un rôle dans l'élimination des causes profondes des inégalités.
  • Do I need to be an Engineer to join? | Dois-je être ingénieur·e pour me joindre à ISF?
    Short Answer: No. Long Answer: If you look back through our history, you’ll see that EWB was founded on the premise of ‘engineers doing good for the world via access to technology’. Our efforts to focus on the human systems that perpetuate poverty and inequality in the world, and broadened the expertise our members bring to the table as a result and thus refer to our members as “engineers of systems change”. Due to this, EWB Canada attracts students and professionals working in a variety of fields. In addition to engineers, we have members working and studying in the fields of policy, international development, consulting, business, law and many other backgrounds. *** La réponse courte : non La réponse longue : Si vous portez attention à l’histoire d’ISF, vous verrez que l’organisation a été fondée sur la prémisse : « les ingénieurs contribuent à un monde meilleur grâce à la technologie ». Nos efforts se concentrent toutefois sur les systèmes humains qui perpétuent les inégalités et la pauvreté dans le monde. Cette orientation élargit par conséquent les champs d’expertise que nos membres mettent à contribution, et c’est pour cette raison que nous les appelons des « ingénieur·e·s en changement systémique ». ISF Canada attire des étudiant·e·s et des professionnel·le·s évoluant dans des domaines variés et outre l’ingénierie, nous comptons des membres travaillant et étudiant dans des domaines comme la politique, le développement international, la consultation en entreprise, les affaires, le droit et bien d’autres.
  • I want to volunteer with EWB and I have an engineering degree, how do I get involved? | Je souhaite être bénévole avec ISF et j’ai un diplôme en génie, de quelle façon puis-je m’impliquer?"
    There are a variety of ways to get involved at EWB! You can become a registered member with EWB here where you can access and unlock resources and become a part of our large community network; You can check out our Virtual Talent xChange for remote volunteer positions and read about the variety of seasonal Distributed Team and fellowship opportunities that EWB offers here. *** Il y a de nombreuses façons de s’impliquer avec ISF! Vous pouvez devenir un·e membre en règle et avoir accès à plusieurs ressources et prendre part à notre vaste communauté. Vous pouvez consulter notre projet Σchanges talent virtuel (en anglais seulement) et voir les opportunités de bénévolat à distance. Vous pouvez aussi vous renseigner à propos des différentes possibilités d’implication qu’offre ISF à travers les diverses équipes décentralisées saisonnières et les stages.
  • How can I connect to EWB members who don’t live or study near me? | Comment puis-je être en contact avec les membres d’ISF qui vivent ou qui étudient loin de moi?
    The EWB community has a variety of platforms and events, including an instant messaging digital platform, regional and national events, national distributed teams and fellowship opportunities and many more. *** La communauté d’ISF a mis en place une variété d’infrastructures et d’événements permettant les échanges entre ses membres comme une plate-forme de messagerie numérique, des événements nationaux et régionaux, des équipes décentralisées à l’échelle nationale, des possibilités de stages et bien plus encore.
  • What kind of events does EWB run in a typical year? | Quel type d’événements sont organisés par ISF au cours d’une année typique?
    National Conference Day of Action Regional and National Leadership Retreats Chapter MP meetings Run to End Poverty (R2EP) *** Quel type d’événements sont organisés par ISF au cours d’une année typique? Congrès national Journée d’action Retraites de leadership nationales et régionales Rencontre des sections avec des député·e·s de la Chambre des communes du Canada Course contre la pauvreté (Run to End Poverty)
  • How do I start a chapter? | Comment puis-je démarrer une section?
    Not sure if there is a chapter in your local area? Search our directory of current chapters here and get in contact with them. Didn’t find a current chapter operating near you? Not a problem! We will work with you to get one up and running. Read a little more about the benefits of starting a Chapter here. If you have filled out the become a member form and did not see a chapter operating at your current educational institution or did not see a professional chapter operating in your city, please complete this Start a Chapter Form to to get in touch with a member of our Team! *** Vous ignorez si une section se trouve dans votre région? Consultez notre répertoire des sections et entrez en contact avec elles. Vous n’avez pas trouvé de section en activité dans votre région? Aucun problème! Nous travaillerons avec vous pour en mettre une sur pied. Si vous avez rempli le formulaire pour devenir membre et que vous n’avez pas trouvé de section en activité dans votre université ou votre collège ni de section professionnelle dans votre ville, veuillez remplir le formulaire Démarrer une section pour qu’un·e membre de notre équipe communique avec vous!
  • What is SCL? | Que signifie LCS?
    SCL stands for Systems Change Leadership; Which is about reframing our roles with other leaders and partners to enact and accelerate global development. With the necessary skills and perspective, Systems Change Leaders can help to provide the spark needed to revolutionize systems and better serve communities. *** LCS est l’acronyme de Leadership en changement systémique. Ce leadership se traduit par la redéfinition de nos rôles avec l’aide d’autres leaders et partenaires pour concrétiser et accélérer le développement mondial. Avec les habiletés et les perspectives nécessaires, les leaders en changement systémique contribuent à produire l’étincelle indispensable pour révolutionner les systèmes et mieux servir les communautés.
  • The Ring Ceremony | La cérémonie de remise de jonc
    EWB created the Circle of the Baobab to recognise people who are committing to a life of promoting a world with less injustice. Each year at the national conference, we hold this ceremony to show our respect for individuals who have completed their membership tiered journey and who have made a thoughtful, lifelong commitment to building a better world. *** ISF a créé le cercle du Baobab pour reconnaître les gens qui s’engagent dans une vie faisant la promotion d’un monde plus juste. Chaque année lors du congrès national, nous tenons cette cérémonie pour rendre hommage aux personnes qui ont terminé leur parcours d’adhésion et qui ont pris l’engagement immuable et réfléchi de bâtir un monde meilleur.
  • Have any questions you don’t see listed here? | Vous avez des questions qui ne se trouvent pas dans cette liste?
    Send them to and a member of the EWB community team will get back to you! *** Envoyez-les, par courriel, à l’adresse suivante : Un·e membre de l’équipe de la communauté vous répondra.

Section 1 - Candidate Information

What year are you in?
Does your university or technical institute have an EWB Chapter?
If your school has an EWB Chapter, are you an active member?
If you are not an active member, will you commit to being an active participant in your school’s EWB chapter for the 2024/25 academic year?
If your school does not have an EWB Chapter and you are accepted as a CAIF Fellow, do you agree to working with EWB's National Office over the 2024/25 academic year in helping to establish a chapter at your school?
At the time of completing this application, are you 18 years of age or above?
Are you a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, temporary resident on a valid student or work visa, or holder of a Protected Persons status (e.g. refugee)?
EWB values Diversity. We embrace diverse cultures, heritages and opinions in our efforts to enrich the Fellowship program and foster inclusive decision making. Some groups are underrepresented in our program in relation to their representation in the communities we serve. As part of our commitment to an inclusive, representative program we want to track and monitor our progress. All self-declaration information is kept confidential and will not be used in the assessment of your application. Your participation is encouraged and appreciated, but it is not mandatory. Please select all that you self-identify as:
EWB is committed to providing inclusive, barrier-free employment free from discrimination, and to hiring diverse candidates. EWB believes that gender discrimination is a root cause of global poverty and economic inequality, and the achievement of gender equality is integral to our mission of achieving systemic change and creating a more just society. We seek to achieve a vision of a more equitable society, inherent to which is the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, disability, age or another status.

Section 2 - Expression of Interest

The fellowship is an in-person program that will require travel to East Africa and full time engagement between May and August 2024. Is this something that you can commit to?
If your application is successful, EWB may require a verbal or written reference from an employer or faculty before confirming your placement in the program. Will you be able to provide such a reference?
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until November 26, 2023.  Please contact with any application or fellowship related questions. Note "CAIF Fellowship application" in the subject line.

Thank you for submitting your application.We'll be in touch!

We are no longer accepting applications. Thank you for your interest in the CAIF Program!

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