The ActivSpaces Fellows Program is an opportunity for talented, enthusiastic people to come to Cameroon and work beside equally talented and highly motivated local developers and tech entrepreneurs. The goal is to facilitate a mutual transfer of skills, knowledge and expertise. We encourage men and women of all cultures, nationalities and creeds to apply. Fellows spend their time in Cameroon working on projects with ActivSpaces members, leading workshops, coordinating projects, advising entrepreneurs and more. For examples of programs led by recent visiting international fellows, see these profiles of Ben White, Richard Anderson and Niels Jansen.

How it Works
Fellows will come to Buea, Cameroon and work alongside a dynamic group of talented programmers helping to support projects while also offering mentoring and business coaching on a peer-to-peer basis. Fellowships are typically for one month, but may be longer or shorter depending on your desire. To participate, you will need to cover your travel expenses to Cameroon. Accommodations are available at a quiet guesthouse with private rooms and shared kitchen facilities within walking distance to ActivSpaces. The guest house is situated near the base of 4090m Mt. Cameroon, the highest peak in West Africa, and has spectacular views of Douala, Buea and the Gulf of Guinea. A local market and several restaurants are conveniently located nearby.

Before you arrive, you should consult your local travel medicine clinic about which vaccinations and medications you’ll need for your stay. The CDC has this useful health information for travellers to Cameroon.

Multiple-entry tourist visas for Cameroon are valid for 90 days and must be obtained prior to your arrival. Check with your local Cameroonian Consular office for specific visa requirements, as these vary depending upon your country of origin. If needed, we can provide you with a legalized letter of invitation to assist you in this process.

When you arrive, we can arrange airport pickup at Douala International and transport via private car to Buea. Rooms at the guesthouse are simple but clean and adequate for short or long stays. Bring your own towel and toiletries. Housekeeping services are provided and the kitchen is equipped for you to prepare your own meals.

About Buea & Practicalities
Buea is the capital of the Southwest Region of Cameroon and home to the University of Buea, the only Anglophone university in the country. The primary spoken language in the region is English. The city is home to a vibrant population of university students and has a wide variety of shops, services, restaurants of all kinds, night clubs, cultural centers and more.

Crime is extremely low and it’s generally very easy to get around via taxi. Several ATM machines are available to withdraw cash in the local currency (CFA), but be advised that the Mastercard network is not supported. You will be at the ActivSpaces office five days per week, 8am – 4pm with your weekends free to explore nearby beaches, Mt. Cameroon or other parts of the country. Excursions outside of Buea require some advance planning. We can assist you with this or connect you with a reputable local guide.

We do not offer health insurance but rather advise you to arrange this in advance. There are many pharmacies, hospitals and reputable clinics in the area. Given Buea’s cool mountain climate, malaria exposure is relatively low compared with other parts of the country. However, we still advise you to obtain anti-malarial medication from your travel medicine clinic, as we do.

Who We’re Looking For
Ideal participants share the philosophy of ActivSpaces and have a desire to support a community centred around open collaboration. Broadly, we look for individuals with either a technical and/or business development background.

If you wish to apply as a fellow on a software development/training track, we look for people with a range of web programming skills. Base level programming skills are also desirable. If you have a background in programming for mobile platforms your skills are very much in demand. Specific technical areas include the following:

  • Javascript, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Django, Node.js, JQuery
  • MySQL, Redis, MongoDB, CouchDB
  • Python, Ruby, Java, C++, C#
  • Android, iOS, Symbian
  • CMS platforms such as Drupal, WordPress & Joomla

If you wish to apply as a fellow on a business development track, we look for individuals who are able to provide peer-to-peer coaching and/or lead group training sessions on one or more of the following:

  • Business modelling
  • Market analysis
  • Understanding the mechanics of startup finance
  • Advisement on connecting with investors
  • Business plan refinement
  • Packaging ideas and pitching
  • Presentation skills

We look forward to connecting you with our network of highly motivated and talented entrepreneurs. This is an exciting opportunity to learn from one another and promote tech entrepreneurship in Cameroon.

For questions relating to the fellows program or to submit an application, please contact us.

About this blog

This blog is a resource for news, project updates, member profiles and community events at ActivSpaces, an open collaboration space, innovation hub and startup incubator for African techies. Based in Buea, Cameroon.