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Global fellowship program Venture for Africa (VFA), has opened applications for its inaugural cohort, the Venture for Africa C19 Remote Fellowship.

The company aims to match skilled global talent with leading African tech startups via a 3-month immersion program. Following the program, fellows are fast-tracked through application processes for long-term open roles at participating startups. Given the current COVID-19 environment, all fellowships for its first cohort will be remote. Startups participating in the first cohort include Sokowatch , Turaco and OkHi.

Created by a team of former colleagues with deep experience in Africa’s tech startup space, Venture for Africa is designed to bridge the gap between startups seeking promising talent, and top local or international candidates who are interested in working in the space but may lack the network, local context or specific startup experience needed to get in front of those hiring.

The firm will offer regular 3-month fellowship programs during which fellows can soft-land in-market, build relevant skills and gain first-hand experience with leading players in the ecosystem.

During the program, VFA Fellows will receive training and mentorship specific to their role, the market they’re working in and the industry in which their assigned startup operates, via workshops led by experienced mentors from around the world. Startup teams will provide fellows with real and impactful projects to work on while observing their progress throughout the duration of the program. After three months, fellows will have an opportunity to apply for a full-time role and fast-track through ordinary application processes. Fellows will receive a stipend for the duration of the program.

“Venture for Africa was really born out of conversations we’ve had again and again about the challenges startups in Africa face when it comes to filling talent gaps,” Venture for Africa Co-founder Tobi Lafinhan said. “At the same time we’re all seeing these talented people in our networks in Africa and around the world who really want to break into the startup ecosystem, but struggle to find ways of getting a foot in the door. With the opportunities we’re seeing amid the COVID-19 crisis – including great talent suddenly finding themselves out of work – we realized now is the perfect time to make this happen.”

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