About the Fellowship

Venue: Office of AU Watch, Banjul, The Gambia

Modality: On-site

Deadline to present applications: 15 December 2020

Start Date:  April 2021

Length of the Fellowship: 10 months


To provide an opportunity for a young African journalist or lawyer to research an area of interest within the domain of media freedom in Africa.


The fellowship is part of a project component whose objective is to provide capacity building to civil society for monitoring the right to freedom of expression and use of protection mechanisms of the African Human Rights System.
The Fellow will be assigned to work with the African Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, under the supervision of the AU Watch’s Director of Human Rights. Generally, the Fellow will be assigned to monitor activities carried out by the Office of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of expression in Africaand Access to Information in Africa.
The Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africawas created by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights with the adoption of Resolution 71 at the 36th Ordinary Session held in Dakar, Senegal from 23rd November to 7th December 2004. The mandate calls for the Special Rapporteur to analyse national media legislation, policies and practice within Member States.


• Be a citizen of an AU Member State;
• Be bilingual in French and English (attach certificates testifying thereto);
• Applicants that are lawyers must have attended an officially accredited law school (a copy of the diploma and transcripts must be submitted);
• Applicants who are journalists may have majored in philosophy, literature, journalism, political science, social sciences or any other related field or have more than three years’ experience in the field of professional journalism.
• Have a demonstrable professional interest in the legal field of human rights, specifically in the area of freedom of expression and access to information.

The following additional elements will be taken into consideration:
• Knowledge and experience on human rights and groups in especially vulnerable conditions;
• Knowledge/experience conducting or participating in journalistic or academic research or analyses related directly with the right to freedom of expression;
• Professional experience with an organization that defends freedom of expression or press.

Required documents:
The following documents are required in order to be considered for the fellowship:
• Letter of interest.
• Completed Fellowship Application (Coming soon)
• Two letters of recommendation, (one of which should be from a freedom of expression organization or human rights organization).
• Curriculum vitae.
• Certification of second language.
• For lawyers, copy of law degree, grades obtained, and proof of registration as an attorney before the courts or the appropriate body. For other professionals, copy of degrees and grades obtained or certification of a minimum or four years’ professional experience as a practicing journalist.


  • AU Watch provides a monthly stipend of US$2,000.00 for the period covered by the fellowship. With the stipend provided, the fellow is responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage of his/her choosing for the duration of the fellowship, and should provide proof of coverage to the Office of AU Watch.
  • Round-trip economy class air transportation from the participant’s country of residence to Banjul, The Gambia or Arusha Tanzania, and transfer expenses are not covered.
  • The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression will award a certificate of participation in the Fellowship Program to fellows who satisfactorily complete the entire period of the fellowship.

Because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, more information will be forthcoming