Pursuing higher education abroad provides African students immense growth opportunities, gaining valuable skills, expanding mindsets, and driving positive change in their communities. However, lack of financial resources remains a major barrier. Fully funded scholarship programs for Africans can make studying globally accessible.
This article provides an extensive overview of major scholarships available for African students to pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies across popular destinations like Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific, and Africa.
Overview Of Top Fully Funded Scholarships for African Students 2023-2024
The scholarships covered offer African students fully funded opportunities to access world-class education across degree levels in fields like STEM, business, agriculture, public health, and more. Most cover tuition, flights, living costs, internships, and leadership training. Programs aim to empower young Africans with knowledge and networks to uplift their communities.
European Scholarships For African Students 2023-2024:
The Netherlands offers a variety of scholarships for international students from developing countries. The Orange Knowledge Program (formerly known as NFP – Netherlands Fellowship Program) provides many opportunities for African students to pursue master’s degree programs, short courses, and PhD studies in the Netherlands. Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it aims to promote capacity building, institutional development, and knowledge transfer.
To be eligible, applicants must be nominated by their employer, hold a government position in their home country or work for a Nuffic NFP alumni organization. The scholarship covers tuition fees, international travel, insurance, visa application costs, and more. Application deadlines are usually in February or March each year.
1) The Netherlands Orange Knowledge Program 2023-2024:
The Orange Knowledge Program offers selected applicants the chance to obtain Master’s degrees at participating Dutch institutions, which feature cutting-edge knowledge and world-class research. There are various subject areas covered, including public health, water management, food security, and more.
The scholarship package includes visa costs, international airfare, insurance, tuition fees, monthly allowance for living expenses, and more. Applicants must have 2 to 5 years of relevant work experience, demonstrate leadership qualities, and be employed in an impactful role in their home country.
2. Ireland Scholarships For African Students 2023-2024:
Ireland, through its Department of Foreign Affairs, offers the Africa Agribusiness Scholarship Program for students from Africa pursuing their Master’s degree in Ireland. Fields covered include agriculture, agri-business, food security, and related subjects.
The scholarships aim to nurture future African leaders in sustainable agribusiness. The funding covers tuition fees, flights, accommodation, stipend, internship placement, and more. Applicants should have 2 years of relevant work experience in agribusiness or community development.
3) Belgium VLIR-UOS Awards Scholarships For African Students:
VLIR-UOS, a Belgian organization promoting university cooperation, offers full scholarships for African students pursuing master’s programs at Flemish institutions in Belgium. Fields of study include bioscience engineering, aquaculture, marine and lacustrine science, public health, and more.
The scholarships aim to help strengthen higher education capacity in developing countries. The package covers tuition fees, travel costs, visa, insurance, monthly allowance, and accommodation. Applicants must demonstrate strong academic merit and career commitment to development.
4) TU Delft Sub-Saharan Africa Excellence Scholarships 2023-2024:
Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) offers Sub-Saharan Africa Excellence Scholarships for a select number of talented students from Sub-Saharan African countries. It aims to promote capacity building and development in Africa through education.
The scholarships cover tuition fees, health insurance, living expenses, airline ticket, and more for the duration of the program. Available programs include Aerospace Engineering, Applied Earth Sciences, Architecture & the Built Environment, and many other fields. Candidates must have an outstanding academic record and demonstrate ambassadorship.
5. DAAD Scholarships For African Students:
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) offers scholarships across bachelor, master, and doctoral programs for African students. Fields covered include engineering, natural sciences, law, social sciences, agriculture, and more.
The aim is to develop future leaders, equip students with technical skills, and build an educated elite in developing countries. Funding covers living costs, university fees, and health insurance, and may include German language training. Applicants must meet stringent eligibility criteria of academic excellence and strong references.
USA Scholarships For African Students 2023-2024:
The United States is a popular study-abroad destination for African students, providing access to top universities and a wealth of funding opportunities:
1. Fulbright Scholarship Program:
The prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Program offers fellowships for African students to pursue graduate studies at US institutions. Students from all academic fields can apply for this fully-funded opportunity including travel, tuition, health insurance, and living stipends. Applicants should demonstrate strong leadership abilities, academic excellence, and potential impact on home country development.
2)Harvard Business School Scholarship:
Harvard Business School provides scholarships to African students of outstanding promise who require financial aid to complete their studies. Applicants must have stellar academic and professional achievement, proven leadership skills, and potential for impact in their organization and society. The amount awarded depends on financial need.
3. Stanford University Scholarships For African Students:
Stanford University offers full-ride scholarships to African students admitted to pursue undergraduate programs in any discipline. The Roble & Stuart Hall Scholarship covers tuition fees, and room & board costs. Applicants must belong to historically disadvantaged or marginalized communities and demonstrate resilience despite adversity.
4. Master Card Foundation Scholarships For African Students:
The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program provides tuition scholarships, living expenses, books, and travel home for African students at select universities in USA & Canada. The aim is to help economically disadvantaged youth gain access to quality education and become community leaders. Applicants must demonstrate academic talent, leadership qualities, and commitment to give back.
5. Education Fund Of Zawadi Africa:
This scholarship fund exclusively supports female African graduate students to study at accredited universities in USA or Canada. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, leadership, community involvement, and potential for success. Awards range from $2,000 to $30,000 towards tuition fees, living expenses, transportation, and health insurance.
6. Mandela Washington Scholarships For Africa:
The prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship offers African young leaders an opportunity to study for 6 weeks at a US university, enhancing leadership skills and networking abilities. Participants hail from Sub-Saharan Africa and represent government, civil society, and the private sector. The Fellowship covers all program costs including travel and accommodation.
7. MSFS Scholarship at Georgetown University 2023-2024:
Georgetown University offers full tuition coverage through its prestigious Walsh School of Foreign Service for an African student to pursue studies in international affairs, global business, security studies, and related disciplines. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership abilities, and commitment to public service in Africa.
Scholarships For African Students In Africa:
There are also numerous scholarships for African students provided by organizations, foundations, and institutions within the continent itself:
1. Jim Ovia MUSTE Scholarship Scholarships For African Students:
The Jim Ovia Foundation funds African youth with scholarships, paid internships, and stipends through its Mankind United To Support Total Education (MUSTE) initiative. In partnership with 24 Nigerian universities, it aims to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs and innovators. Applicants must be Nigerian students with entrepreneurial interests and excellent academic track records.
2. WAAW Foundation Scholarships For African Students:
Working to Advance African Women (WAAW) Foundation offers scholarships to African female students pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies in STEM fields at African institutions. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership potential, community involvement, and commitment to Africa’s future prosperity. Awards include full tuition coverage, textbooks, transportation, and living expenses.
3. Graduate Institute Geneva Scholarships For African Students:
The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland offers 10 full scholarships per year for African students pursuing a Masters’s degree. Fields covered include international affairs, development studies, international economics, international law, and related areas. Funding covers tuition fees, travel, living costs, insurance, and internship opportunities.
4. ACCESS Kenya Scholarships For African Students:
ACCESS is a program providing need and merit-based scholarships for Kenyan students to access quality university education. Undergraduate scholarships are valued at $25,000 per student over 4 years. Recipients must demonstrate academic talent, leadership potential, perseverance despite adversity, and financial need. The program aims to develop future change-makers and innovators.
5. Mandela Rhodes Scholarships For African Students:
The Mandela Rhodes Scholarships offer educational opportunities for exceptional African students to pursue postgraduate degrees at South African institutions and develop as future leaders in their countries. It provides cover for tuition fees, accommodation, travel, stipend, and more. Applicants must demonstrate scholastic excellence, strong leadership potential, and a commitment to advancing African development.
Asia-Pacific Scholarships for African Students:
The Asia-Pacific region also offers a host of fully funded opportunities for aspiring African students:
1. Masters and Internships:
The Australia Awards Scholarships provide African students access to study Master’s programs at Australian universities in diverse fields like agriculture, environment, health, mining, and others. The award package covers full tuition fees, travel, Overseas Student Health Cover, and a monthly stipend. Applicants must demonstrate significant public or private sector experience and a commitment to national development.
2. Australia Awards Program For African Students:
This prestigious Australian government initiative aims to develop leadership and build capacity in Africa through scholarship awards. It provides African students access to postgraduate studies and professional internships in Australia. The program covers all tuition expenses, return air travel, OSHC insurance, establishment, and living allowances. Applicants must be high-caliber current or aspiring professionals with minimum 2 years of work experience.
Global Awards to African Students:
There are also some fully-funded global scholarships open to African candidates:
1. Commonwealth Scholarships For African Students 2023-2024:
One of the most prestigious opportunities for African students, Commonwealth Scholarships provide funding for postgraduate studies in diverse subject areas at Commonwealth universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and more. Africans from low and middle-income backgrounds are eligible to apply. The scholarship covers tuition fees, travel, living expenses, thesis costs, and more.
2. Wells Mountain Initiative Scholarships For African Scholarships:
This non-profit organization provides scholarships to promising African students from countries like Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and others to pursue undergraduate studies abroad in fields like computer science, engineering, mathematics, and entrepreneurship. The program also supports vocational training and microloans for women.
3. Africa London (ALN) Fund:
The Africa London Nagasaki (ALN) Fund is a unique partnership supporting African students to access quality education and skills training placements in London institutions. Currently, it offers opportunities in fields including finance, business, hospitality, and more. Applicants must demonstrate strong personal initiative and potential for impact on return home. Scholarships cover tuition fees, flights, living costs, and more.
4) Tech Makers Scholars Program For Women:
The Tech Makers Scholars Program aims to empower and equip young African women to become technology leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Twenty top female African tech talent receive full scholarships to pursue studies at the African Leadership University School of Science and Technology. Program costs, living expenses, and a laptop are provided to scholars.
5. Agha Khan Foundation Scholarships For African Students:
The Aga Khan Foundation provides need-based scholarships to high-achieving African students pursuing postgraduate studies at universities abroad. Field and country availability is diverse including USA, UK, Portugal, Syria, Egypt, Tanzania, Bangladesh, and more. Applicants must demonstrate high academic achievement, continuing community services, and financial need. Scholarships cover tuition fees, living, and book expenses.
6) Rotary Peace Fellowships:
The Rotary Peace Fellowship offers fully funded scholarships for African professionals to pursue a postgraduate degree in fields related to peace and conflict resolution at one of the six Rotary Peace Centers worldwide. Applicants must have proven leadership skills, 5 years of work experience in a related field, and a strong commitment to sustainable peace.
7. Beit Trust Postgraduate Scholarships For African Students 2023-2024:
The Beit Trust offers extremely generous scholarships annually to African students from Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Zambia to pursue postgraduate studies abroad. Scholars gain access to a lifetime of educational opportunities at universities in the UK, Ireland, and South Africa in fields like science, agriculture, engineering, medicine, and more. All costs are covered by the Trust.
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In conclusion, there are numerous fully-funded scholarship opportunities for bright and committed African students to access quality higher education across continents like Europe, North America, Australia, and Africa itself. Organizations like Mastercard Foundation, Commonwealth, Netherlands Government, and others aim to empower young Africans with skills and knowledge to drive Africa’s future prosperity and sustainable development. Students must research options carefully and demonstrate outstanding academic merit, leadership potential, and commitment to give back to their community and nation. With proper funding, Africa’s top talents can gain world-class qualifications, networks, and experiences to return home as leaders of change.
What are the benefits of scholarship opportunities for African students?
Scholarships allow African students access to top-ranked universities and quality education globally which they may not otherwise afford. This enables them to gain valuable skills, knowledge, networks, and intercultural experiences to drive Africa’s growth and development upon returning home.
What costs do these scholarships generally cover?
Most fully funded scholarships for African students cover tuition fees, flights, health insurance, living stipends, books and supplies costs, local transportation, etc. Some also provide allowances for accommodation, thesis research, internships, and leadership training.
What are some eligibility criteria for these scholarships?
Typical requirements are academic excellence, demonstrated leadership qualities, significant community/public service experience, commitment to the country’s development, advancing underrepresented groups, overcoming adversity, and financial need. English fluency, reference letters, and standardized test scores are also required.
What fields of study are generally covered?
There are diverse fields covered based on each scholarship program’s aims, including STEM subjects, business, public health, agriculture, environment, education, economics, peace and conflict studies, development studies, and more.
How can African students access these amazing fully funded opportunities?
Students should thoroughly research each scholarship, understand country/regional eligibility, and study the fields covered. They must demonstrate outstanding achievements, leadership, community commitment, and clarity of goals in applications. Consulting scholarship advisors also helps.