Call for Applications: The Innocent Chukwuma African NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program

The Leadership Transition Fellowship Program in Johannesburg


The Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) in partnership with the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI), and support from Ford Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2023 call for applications to the Innocent Chukwuma African NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (ICLTFP), formerly known as the African NGO Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LTFP). 

The decision to rename the program after Innocent Chukwuma, who until his death in April 2021, was the Regional Director of the Ford Foundation West Africa office, arose from the combination of the significant role he played in the birthing of AROCSA and the establishment of the LTFP; the secretariat and board of AROCSA’s consideration of how best to honour his legacy; and suggestions from some of the members of the 2021 cohort of the LTFP which took place for the first time on African soil in Ghana from 1st March to 30th May, 2021. 

At the AROCSA quarterly board meeting which took place in September 2021, a unanimous decision was made by members present to rename the program after him. The decision was subsequently communicated to his family through his wife; Mrs Josephine Chukwuma who was deeply appreciative of the consideration, and happy to give her blessings to AROCSA’s request. Her personal statement on the role Innocent Chukwuma played in the birthing of AROCSA and the establishment of its key programs is appended to this call for applications. We pray that his soul continues to rest in perfect peace and that the Almighty continues to give his family the strength to bear his loss.

And as part of efforts to further ground the program in the realities of the African experience, this will be the second of 3 planned cohorts of AROCSA’s partnership with the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg, who will be delivering the content of the program up till 2024.

Applications to the 2023 cohort are now open.

To learn more about the programme and application requirements, please download the full call for application document here.

About the Program


The Africa Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (LFTP) began in 2018 under the moniker of the Nonprofit Leadership Transition Fellowship Program (NLTF Program), with support from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and the Ford Foundation. It was started due to the recognition of the urgent need for an NGO leadership transition program to aid sector leaders – civil society and NGO leaders – who are considering transitioning out of their positions in creating a supportive infrastructure. The program’s chief purpose is thus to help sector leaders prepare and position their NGOs to be sustainable, vibrant, and continue to thrive after their exit from the organisation. It would enable both the leaders and organisations successfully make the shift, and in so doing create spaces for a new generation of leaders in the social sector to not only emerge but also have platforms to apply their creative and youthful energies. Transitioning leaders would develop succession plans within their own organisations, contemplate their personal transition plans, and preserve their knowledge and experience.

The inaugural year began with 2 cohorts (1 in spring and 1 in fall) which have since evolved to a single annual cohort since 2019. The Fellowship program is hosted by the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy (LFSOP) of Indiana university, Indianapolis.

The objectives of LTFP in Africa are to:

  1. Contribute to the process of establishing a supportive infrastructure for leadership transition within the NGO movement in Africa.
  2. Promote creation of leadership spaces for next generation of leaders in African civil society to grown and strive.
  3. Increase documentation of leadership experiences/reflections and renewal processes within civil society in Africa.