Internship Programme

The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) actively participates in the UN internship programme, and regularly hosts student interns with a particular interest in Africa affairs at its Offices at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. About 35 interns have been hosted since the establishment of the Office in 2003.

Internship assignments

During the programme, interns perform various tasks related to the coordination, policy analysis, and advocacy for UN and international support to Africa. Interns among other things:

OSAA interns work under the immediate supervision of relevant staff members of OSAA, with the guidance of the two Chiefs of Branch and the Director of the Office, and the overall leadership of the Head of the Office, the Under Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa. Internship assignments vary in length (three to six months), depending on the availability and academic needs of intern, as well as those of OSAA. Internships are unpaid, in accordance with related UN policy.


In performing the above tasks, OSAA’s interns made vital contributions to the work of the Office, and are also availed unique opportunities to learn, familiarize themselves with, and enhance their knowledge on topics of interest to them, the work of the OSAA, and of the UN on Africa as a whole. This internship programme is thus a contribution to capacity building, education and training of the next generation of experts on African affairs.

At the end of their stay, interns prepare and present papers to the staff of the Office on a topic of interest for their work, and on their experience at the Office as a whole. This is followed by interactive discussions. The efforts of interns are highly commended and appreciated.

Going forward, OSAA encourages the participation of students from the African continent in the UN internship programme as whole, as part of efforts towards capacity-building and youth education on Africa and the United Nations.

Application Process

All internships are advertised on UN Inspira (selection system); a completed online application is required. For further information on requirements and the application process, please see the UN Internships webpage.