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The Ashinaga Africa Initiative began in 2014. Its mission is to contribute to sub-Saharan Africa’s expanding role in global development through increasing access to higher education abroad. We support orphaned students who are committed to returning home and initiating change, by providing access to full financial support to study at a university abroad (equivalent to an undergraduate degree). Ashinaga support covers tuition, accommodation, travel costs, and other necessary fees.

Learn more about the Ashinaga Africa Initiative

How to Apply

Applications for the 2021 Ashinaga Africa Initiative are now closed. If you would like to be notified when we open applications for our 2022 program, you can now sign up for the 2022 Ashinaga Africa Initiative mailing list, and we will contact you by email when applications open later in the year.  Sign up here.


When applications open, there will be two stages to the Ashinaga Africa Initiative application process;   


・Registration: All applicants must first confirm the eligibility by registering for the program. Only students who register for the program and are deemed eligible (based on criteria/eligibility below) will receive the application form.

・Application: all students who register for the program will receive an email with a link to the full application form if they are eligible for the program.   


Requirements (2022)

Requirements (2022)

Applicants must:


・Have lost one or both parents;

・Have completed secondary school and passed national secondary school examination (technical and vocational degrees not accepted) within the last two years (any date after 1st September 2019, including all of 2020 and 2021) or will have completed secondary school and received final exam results before February 28th, 2022.
・Were born after 1st September 1999;
・Have an outstanding academic performance at high school and were amongst the top students in their class;
・Be committed to returning home, or to sub-Saharan Africa, and contribute to society in sub-Saharan Africa after graduating from university.

Documents (2022)

This is a list of the documents you will need to submit as part of your application.


・Copy of the birth certificate of the applicant.
・Copy of the death certificate of deceased parent(s), including the deceased parent’s name, or alternative official documentation proving the death of the parent(s) or orphan status.
・Copy of national ID card or passport.
・Copy of term reports / high school transcripts (from the last 2 years).
・Copy of final Secondary School Examination Certificate
・Copy of academic transcripts or diplomas from university/post-secondary institutions, if applicable.

Countries (2022)


Botswana, Ethiopia, Eritrea, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Kingdom of eSwatini, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius*, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles*, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.




Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon*, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea Conakry, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Republic of Congo, Senegal, and Togo.


*As these countries have French and English as its official languages, applicants can apply to either the Anglophone or Francophone program. However, this does not guarantee multiple seats on the AAI will be provided.



Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Príncipe


Selection Process (2022) Applications for all countries will be assessed after the application deadline, and successful applicants will be invited to a final assessment. During this assessment, Ashinaga conducts individual interviews and sets an examination to better understand students’ academic abilities and career goals in Sub-Saharan Africa. Students must bring all original academic documents and identification documents to the interview. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from the application process. 

How to Apply for the AAI

There are three ways to apply for the Ashinaga Africa Initiative, although we prefer online applications. There is no application fee, and you must never pay anyone to apply or to apply on your behalf. Please note that if you apply by post, all submitted documents will not be returned to you. Therefore, you must send copies of documents ONLY.


STEP1 Gather all the required documents, except for the application form.


Scan the required documents in either PDF or JPG format.


Apply online


Application complete


How many students do you select per country?

Ashinaga takes great care to select and develop our students. We believe in quality over quantity and invest a significant amount of resources in those who are accepted into our programme. As a result of this, to ensure sustainability, we are only able to take about one student per country per year. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to select a student from each country every year.

Why is the age limit 23?

There are two reasons for this. The first is that Ashinaga wants to prioritize young people for this leadership programme, and the second is that students aged 23 or older typically have greater difficulty in obtaining a student visa to study abroad.

Why is the scholarship only for orphans?

Ashinaga takes great care to select and develop our students. We believe in quality over quantity and invest a significant amount of resources in those who are accepted into our programme. As a result of this, to ensure sustainability, we are only able to take about one student per country per year. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to select a student from each country every year.

Can exceptions be made to the eligibility criteria?

Ashinaga is first and foremost an organization that supports the education of orphaned young people.

Why only undergraduate level?

As there are many other organizations, universities, and foundations offering funding for masters degrees, we have decided to prioritize students applying for undergraduate university studies.

How will my university/country of study be decided?

This will be decided during the Ashinaga Study Camp for students selected for this programme. It will be decided together with the student, but the final decision ultimately lies with Ashinaga. It will depend on numerous criteria, including visa requirements, language requirements, academic grades, and the availability of the student’s desired course of study.

If I applied last year, can I apply again?

As long as you still satisfy the requirements, you are welcome to apply again.

I do not have one of the required documents. What should I do?

All of the required documents listed are necessary to apply, particularly proof of age and proof of the death of a parent. If you do not have a death certificate, then any other official document can be considered, including a court record, affidavit, or an official letter from a local government official.

I am from a French-speaking country but want to study in English. Can I still apply?

Yes, you may still apply. Some students from Francophone countries with sufficient quality English can study in English.

What is the registration form for?

The registration form allows us to register applicants in our system, and we will use the information provided to determine if 1) the applicant fulfils all the eligibility requirements and 2) has a strong enough academic record to be considered for the program. Only applicants who are eligible when assessed according to these criteria will be invited to complete the Full Application.

What is required for the Full Application and what does it assess?

Applicants are scored on their academic performance, with readers looking to identify any patterns in a student’s performance. Applicants are also assessed on the challenges they have faced and overcome, their future plans and their leadership potential. You will submit 2 essays and respond to long and short answer questions.

What is assessed during the Ashinaga Assessment Day?

Applicants are assessed on their knowledge and aptitude, challenges faced and future planning and initiative. You will be assessed through an examination and interviews.

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