Bureau for Africa Internship

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USAID’s Bureau for Africa (AFR) designs, implements, and evaluates regional and country strategies and programs within Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Bureau works with its partners to improve access to and delivery of health services, to support more accountable and democratic institutions, to start businesses and foster an environment attractive to private investment, and to stave off conflict and strengthen communities. In Fiscal Year 2017, USAID and the U.S. Department of State provided more than $8.3 billion of assistance to over 47 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Interns will be able to specify their preference to work in one of the eight offices:

  • The Office of the Assistant Administrator directs and supervises the activities of the Bureau and its overseas organizations.
  • The Administrative Management Staff provides advice regarding Bureau structure, administrative processes, and resources.
  • The Office of Development Planning provides leadership for Bureau strategy and policy development, donor coordination, communications, and management of our relationship with the African Union as well as overseeing the development and monitoring of the Bureau program and operating expense budget. It comprises three divisions: policy, outreach, strategy and evaluation (POSE); program analysis and budget (PAB) and the controller function (CONT), in addition to a communications team and a team focused on local sustainability.
  • The Office of Sustainable Development provides leadership on African development issues through analysis, strategy development, program design, technical assistance, advocacy, and information dissemination. It comprises four divisions: health; education; conflict, peacebuilding and governance; and economic growth, agriculture and trade.
  • The Office of Sudan and South Sudan Programs plays a key role in supporting USAID Missions in Sudan and South Sudan. The USAID/Washington-based team plays an important role in providing continuity and institutional memory for the Sudan and South Sudan Missions where Foreign Service Officers serve one- or two-year assignments, and is actively engaged in the strategy development process for both Missions as well as program design, implementation, and monitoring. SSSP staff also work closely with the Assistant Administrators and Deputy Assistant Administrators of the AFR and the Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) Bureaus, and the office staff interact directly and regularly with the State Department’s Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, other USG agencies, and the National Security Council.
  • The Office of East African Affairs provides leadership on and plays a key role in supporting programs in Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, the Central Africa Regional Program, and the East Africa Regional Program.
  • The Office of West African Affairs plays a key role in supporting programs in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, The Gambia, Togo, and the West Africa Regional Program.
  • The Office of Southern African Affairs plays a key role in supporting programs in Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, the Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the Southern Africa Regional Program.

Day-to-day assignments will vary by office, but may include:

  • Assisting in preparation of Agency, Bureau, and Office leadership for meetings and events.
  • Contributing to and assembling briefing materials for the Africa Bureau and the Office.
  • Attending relevant internal and external events and meetings.
  • Performing research and writing talking points for Agency, Bureau or Office leadership.
  • Coordinating meetings with external stakeholders and partners.

In addition to assisting the offices with their responsibilities, AFR interns will have unique opportunities to participate in and/or assist with a variety of high-level events such as escorting personnel from a number of foreign embassies and organizations; attending international conferences and summits; and interacting with USAID staff who are currently working overseas.

All offices and related programs are in the Washington DC area. Please note that this internship is unpaid with no housing assistance or transportation provided.

Selection criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen (without dual nationality)
  • Be currently enrolled in a college or university
  • Be able to obtain a U.S. Government security clearance at the “Secret” level by passing a background check.
  • Be available full-time with a minimum requirement of 4 days a week, 8 hours per day.
  • Possess a general knowledge about U.S. Government agencies and USAID policies, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and computer proficiency.

Application Timeline:


Program Dates

Application Opens



January - May

July 1

August 15


June - August

November 1

December 15


September - December

February 1

March 15


AFR accepts applications for its Spring, Summer, and Fall internship sessions during the listed application windows. Please send your cover letter (including approximate dates of availability) and resume as attachments to afr_interns@usaid.gov, and indicate the session and year for which you are applying in the subject of the email.

Note: Due to the high number of applicants, only a limited number of candidates will be contacted for an interview.