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African Development Bank - Young Professionals Program (AfDB YPP 2021-2022)

African Development Bank – Young Professionals Program (AfDB YPP 2021-2022)

Program Overview


The African Development Bank Young Professionals Programme (better known as the AfDB YPP) is an annual initiative focused on the selection and recruitment of distinguished and highly qualified young professionals from different parts of the world. Every year, about 8.000 – 10.000 candidates, from AfDB member countries, apply for a chance to work as an international civil servant with the Bank. The applicants selected are invited to take part in a professional development program, so that they can start a successful career with the organization. Furthermore, the AF YPP Salary is a good start point for a young professional.

The AfDB YPP application represents a great entry opportunity for professionals with little experience who are looking to kick-start their career at the organization. The positions offered to candidates who succeed in this selection process are entry-level professional posts and, therefore, do not require extensive work experience.

Because of the above-mentioned reason, in addition to a competitive remuneration package, career mobility and the support that successful candidates receive once they are assigned to a position at the organization, this selection process is highly sought-after by many young professionals, making it highly competitive – from the initial 10,000 applicants, it is estimated that the AfDB YPP acceptance rate is around 20 or 30 individuals.

To help you succeed in the AfDB YPP, OpenIGO Network has developed a brand-new ebook: “AfDB YPP – The Essential Guide“.

This comprehensive eBook will help you land your dream job at the African Development Bank! You will get acquainted with the AfDB YPP, learn how to apply for it, and get ahead of the competition by knowing all the main strategies and tips to get successful in this selection process.

Do you want to succeed in the ADB YPP? Then get it now:

AfDB YPP – The Essential Guide [ebook]

Check also our other AfDP YPP-related products and services:

AfDB YPP – Products & Services

AfDB Overview

Established in 1964, the African Development Bank Group is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 80 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries).  The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group comprises three entities: The African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. The Bank Group mobilize and allocate resources for investments in RMCs; and provide policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts. The Bank is headquartered in Abidjan, has 5 Business Regional Resource Offices, 30 Country offices, 5 Program Offices and a Liaison Office on Japan.

 AfDB’s main focus: to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction.


Description of the AfDB YPP

The Young Professionals Program (YPP) targets high potential, best-in-class young professionals with a strong passion for Africa’s development. This program is not an internship arrangement; rather it offers exceptional career opportunities to talented young professionals with leadership potential, an established record of outstanding academic and professional achievement to make a difference to the development of the African continent. The YPP includes a rigorous program of activities including a learning Academy that prepares participants to be technical and professional leaders with notable impact.

  • The Program is for a period of three years; the first two years will be spent on mandatory rotational placements across the Bank’s various functions. The third-year rotation year will be spent in the Home Complex where the YP will graduate into a staff position. Only YPs who have completed the YP Academy and have exhibited high performance and high potential will be integrated into the Bank’s workforce.
  • The Professional and Personal Development Program is structured under the Young Professionals Learning Academy with specific learning interventions delivered in phases of 6 months each. These learning interventions serve to deepen technical knowledge and build leadership skills required for effective delivery of task functions and future roles in the Bank. The Learning academy also includes on – the job training that requires immersion into various functional areas of the Bank for hands-on experience in projects and various work assignments.
  • On-boarding and orientation programs ensure faster integration into the Bank’s culture and offers a robust support mechanism from mentors, coaches and buddy groups.
  • Individual performance and potential will be reviewed periodically, and the necessary personal development plans customized to individual needs.

What  are the fields of study and professional areas required for the AfDB YPP?

The Bank seeks to recruit Young Professionals in specific disciplines and specialist professional areas that are aligned to the Ten-Year Strategy (TYS); the five priority areas of the Bank (High 5s) and People strategy. The Hi-5s are captured below:

1. Light Up and Power Africa:

Power Systems Development (grid base power system, power utilities), Climate Change and Green Growth (climate finance, climate adaptation), Energy Statistics, Policy and Regulation (energy statistics), Renewable Energy (off grid energy access), Energy Partnerships (energy partnerships and stake-holders engagement, energy markets).

2. Feed Africa:

Agriculture & Agro-industry (agribusiness development, agriculture research, production and sustainability), Agricultural finance & Rural development (agricultural and rural finance, rural infrastructure development).

3. Integrate Africa:

Development Research (macroeconomic policy, debt sustainability and forecasting, microeconomic, institutional and development impact), Governance and public financial management (program development, policy management), Statistics (economic and social statistics, statistical capacity building).

4. Industrialize Africa:

Private Sector Development (strategy and new product, portfolio asset management, special operations), Financial sector development (financial institutions, financial inclusion), Infrastructure, cities & urban development (transport and logistics, ICT), Industrial and trade development.

5. Improve the lives of the people of Africa:

Water, Human and Social development (education, human capital and employment, sanitation and public health.

What is the duration of the AfDB YPP?

The AfDB YPP it’s a three-year programme and is classified as international status. As such, it attracts international terms and conditions of employment.

 What is the weekly workload of the AfDB YPP?

The program is full-time. Selected candidates therefore work between 35 and 40 hours per week. Work on weekends may be required.

Where are the locations of the AfDB YPP?

The candidates should be able to live in Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire) at the Bank’s Headquarters, and any other country in Africa where the Bank may require their services. HQ and country/field office (with inter-departmental rotation)

Subsequent employment:

The AfDB YPP is an opportunity to develop a rewarding career as a future leader of the Bank. In this sense, there are possibilities of securing a regular staff position during the third year of the program, depending on the performance of the potential candidates throughout the three-year period.

AfDB YPP - Salary

The AfDB YPP salary is equivalent to the PL-6 level, plus benefits. There are specific salary scales for each employee based on academic qualifications and professional experience. The salary band in UA* Per Annum for the PL-6 level is (exchange rates from Oct/2019):

  • 58,833 UA (MIN) = 80,207.61 USD
  • 73,542 UA (MID) = 100,260.54 USD
  • 88,250 UA (MAX) = 120, 312.10 USD

*UA – salaries in the professional category are denominated in Units of Account. The Unit of Account is equivalent to the Special  Drawing  Rights  (SDR)  of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).   Conversion from UA to the selected currency of payment is done at the moving average rate determined by the Bank reflecting the market exchange rate between the UA and the chosen currency in the preceding 12 months. The updated (Oct/2019) currency exchange rate for US Dollar is 1,36331.

AfDB YPP - Requirements

What is the education requirement of the AfDB YPP?

Possess a Master’s degree or equivalent in any discipline that is relevant to the business of the Bank (High 5s), with outstanding academic credentials


The candidates must be proficient in the Bank’s working languages, either English and/or French.

What is the AfDB Age Limit?

Be 32 years of age or younger at the time of enrolment.

 What is the AfDB nationality requirement?

Applicants must be citizens of a AfDB member country, as presented in the box below:

AfDB Regional Member Countries
Algeria; Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cabo Verde; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Comoros; Congo; Côte d’Ivoire; Democratic Republic of Congo; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; eSwatini; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia;Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Madagascar; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mauritius; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda;São Tomé and Príncipe; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa;South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania; Togo; Tunisia; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe.
AfDB Non-Regional Member Countries
Argentina; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Canada; China; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; India; Italy; Japan; Korea; Kuwait; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Norway; Portugal; Saudi Arabia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States of America; United Arab Emirates.

What are the competences required for the AfDB YPP?

  • Have a passion for Africa’s development
  • Able to leverage knowledge, share and coach others.
  • Work effectively in teams with displayed high adaptability to a diverse environment.
  • Strong analytical skills, an entrepreneurial drive, results-orientation and problem-solving capability.
  • High business acumen and innovative mindset.
  • Have skills that enable you work in a digital environment and embrace technology as it evolves.
  • Interested candidates with coding, e-development, animation and platforms designs and maintenance are required this year

 Other requirements:

  • Have at least 3 years post graduate work experience in the areas related to the high priority areas (Hi-5s) as mentioned above.
  • Ability to travel continentally (20% of your time).
  • Demonstrable hands-on experience on the African continent and/or in other continent’s developing countries is a necessary requirement.


AfDB YPP - Application process

When to apply for the AfDB YPP?

The bank accepts applications for one month, generally in spring for intake in autumn each year. In 2019, the application period was from 15/10 to 15/12.

How to apply for the AfDB YPP?

The application process is carried out via AFDB’s e-recruitment system and comprises the following steps:

  • Filling out the candidate online profile: personal information; education, training, employment history;
  • Submitting the required documents: CV; AfDB Cover Letter; attachments.

During the application, candidates are required to list three references that can attest their skills and qualifications.

What are the phases of the selection process for the AfDB YPP?

The selection process for the AF YPP comprises the following steps:

  1. Advertisement for YPP;
  2. Acceptance of applications
  3. Long listing, proposed Shortlist and approval of shortlisting

Interviews Assessment Centers

  1. Conduct Personality Inventory assessment (Online)
  2. Conduct written or numerical assessment (Essay, Psychometric tests, etc.).
  3. Group exercises and Oral interviews – At the Bank’s HQ (Abidijan).
  4. Identify recommended candidates
  5. Conduct Background Checks
  6. Recommend candidates for selection; and extension of offer letters and acceptance of offers
  7. Issuance appointment letters
  8. YP Cohort commence work
  9. Induction of YPs

With the aim of highly increasing your chances of success in this stage of the selection process, OpenIGO Network has put together a thorough Application Review service for AfDB YPP candidates, to help you prepare your documents with extreme care and enhance the quality of your application. Click on the link to find out more

Application Review

AfDB YPP - Interview

The AfDB YPP interview process is divided into two stages: a) Personality Assessment Interview (online); b) On-Site Interview (AfDB’s HQ). The following sections will elucidate the differences between these two stages.

 1. Personality assessment interview

The personality assessment interview is conducted online (by video conference) and functions as a pre-selection phase for short-listed candidates. This phase aims to identify the presence of soft skills and general aspects of the candidates’ personality. Below, are provided examples of personality interview questions to help you understand further:

 Personality interview questions*

  • If your manager asked you to complete a task you thought impossible at first, how would you go about it?
  • Tell me about a time you had to fill in for someone. Were you successful? How did the experience make you feel?
  • Tell me about a time you missed (or almost missed) a deadline. How did you react when you realized you were falling behind? What did that experience teach you?
  • Do you prefer working in a team or on your own? Why?`
  • If you could change one thing about your personality at the snap of your fingers what would it be and why?
  • Tell me about a time your manager wasn’t satisfied with the results of your work. How did you discuss the issues and what did you do differently the next time?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What types of activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of work?

*(Extracted from: https://resources.workable.com/personality-interview-questions)

 2. On-Site Interview (AfDB’s Head Quarters).

 After the Online interview, selected candidates are invited to the AfDB Head Quarter (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), with all related costs sponsored, to a panel interview. For the On-Site Interview, AfDB uses the traditional and technical interview model with the purpose of testing the candidates’ technical knowledge and their domain about the organization’s operations and objectives. 

Candidates are usually asked two types of questions:

  • Introductory and traditional questions (questions regarding the main motivation that led the candidate to apply for the AfDB YPP or questions about their experience and employment history.
  • Technical questions regarding their working area or development and Africa oriented

Below, we present some examples of questions that may be asked on this type of interview:

  • Where do you see Africa’s financial service industry going?
  • Why do you think you are a perfect fit for this job?
  • What should be done to foster economic growth on the Africa Continent?
  • Describe a time you worked in a team, the challenges you faced and your contributions

To help you feel more secure and greatly improve your performance during the interview stage, OpenIGO Network has developed a mock interview, as per the AfDB YPP model, with a specialized professional who has extensive experience. Click on the link below to find out more about our AfDB YPP Mock Interview service:

Mock Interview

Documents to submit:

The application process requires you to submit:

– Maximum two page Curriculum Vitae in Microsoft Word version.
– Copies of Academic Certificates/Transcripts.
– PhD Dissertation/Master’s Thesis topic (short summary), if applicable.

Evaluation criteria:

Recruiters will seek to identify whether applicants’ academic and professional experience is relevant to the Bank’s activities, as well as evaluate their job expectations and level of knowledge about the institution’s work.

Other information:

As a Young Professional, you will work on programs that cover the continent and be at the forefront of exciting Bank initiatives that are shaping Africa’s future. The program will prepare you to be a development professional with a notable impact. The African Development Bank is an equal opportunity employer. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.





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