Scholarships in African Universities


Many African students automatically think about leaving the continent, or their home country at least, when thinking about furthering their education. This has affected the way they apply for scholarships; for many, a real scholarship is one that would take them to a prestigious university in a developed country. Many African students would admit that they are often not just looking for a study experience, but a chance to travel and see the world, and the possibility of gaining the citizenship of a developed country.


I would also admit that these are very good reasons to seek a scholarship. However, it has set a trend that results in highly-qualified African candidates applying only for scholarships for schools outside the continent, ignoring the ones that are offered here. They may not take the offers here seriously enough, or would always go for the foreign university when they are given the choice. Should that be the case?


While there are certainly a lot of benefits to the prestigious universities outside the continent, many students can have a high-quality learning or research experience in African Universities. These universities have many good professors and supervisors who would help you have a relatable, in-depth education and research,


ones that would address the issues facing the continent more directly. You would also get to relate with a student body without any racial or nationalistic barriers – something that has hampered the learning experience of students who travel abroad. Also, importantly, you may get to positively impact African communities while carrying out your research and adapting it to the locality.


I can write a much longer essay on the benefits of looking homewards when seeking a scholarship. But it would be much more productive to list African Universities where you can have a well-funded scholarship. Below are scholarships you can get in an African university.


Mastercard Scholarships

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program was established in 2011 by the Mastercard Foundation. It is meant to help students with extraordinary talent and promise who do not have their financial resources to complete their education. The program creates leaders who contribute greatly to their community.


A wide variety of majors and degrees in various levels of tertiary education is eligible for the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, and several institutions in Africa participate in this program. The Program provides financial support which includes but is not limited to, tuition fees, accommodation, books, and other scholastic materials. The program also provides academic and social support to its students as well.


The universities in Africa where you can study with a Mastercard Scholarship include:


  • African Development University (Niger Republic)
  • Asheshi University (Ghana)
  • Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana)
  • University of Cape Town (South Africa)
  • University of Pretoria (South Africa)
  • Makerere University (Uganda)
  • University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin)

Click here to apply


Jim Ovia Foundation Scholars Program


The Jim Ovia Scholars Program was founded in 1998 by Mr. Jim Ovia to provide financial aid to outstanding Nigeria youths. It was previously known as the MUSTE scholarship. The scholarship ligible awardees are supported for their undergraduate and graduate study for the duration of their program and includes tuition and maintenance allowances.


An average of a 100 applicants are awarded the scholarship each year, and they would have to submit another application each year to renew their scholarships. Mr. Jim Ovia has invested over 100 Million Naira in the program, and has supported over 1500 beneficiaries and counting.


Eligibility and Criteria here


The scholarship is open to all potential students who are citizens of Nigeria. Each year, a hundred (100) awardees are selected from a pool of eligible applicants on the basis of personal intellectual ability, leadership capability and a desire to contribute to society at large to improve the lives of others.


African Leadership University (Rwanda)


African Leadership University is located in Kigali, Rwanda, and offers fully-funded scholarships to students from Africa. (For Rwandans living in Kigali, it will only cover tuition fees). The scholarship is for 100 outstanding young Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend ALU Kigali.c

click and apply


University of Cape Town (South Africa)


Undergraduate students enrolled in any of the six faculties of the University of Cape Town can apply for the Klaus-Jürgen Bathe Leadership Programme. Students can apply in their first year of study, or after completing first year with more than 2 years of study remaining in their degree program. It is not open to Postgraduate students.Although majority of scholars expected are citizens of South Africa, candidates from other sub-Saharan African countries are also welcome to apply. The scholarship offers full financial support to the value of R120,000-00 per year. This should cover tuition fees, accommodation, meals and an allowance for books, stationery and transport

click to apply


University of Ghana, Legon (Ghana)

The Fondazione Edu Scholarship focuses on helping low-income students develop skills in technology, scientific analysis, and agronomy in collaboration with the University of Ghana, Legon. The scholarship is offers African students the opportunity to access higher education in their country of origin. It will cover tuition, books, as well as room and board. The scholarship is awarded for four years, and would last that long as long as excellent academic standards of at least a B average of 3.00 CGPA continue to be met and need is demonstrated.

apply here

Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Fund

The Joshua Nkomo Scholarship Fund (JNSF) is a Pan African Scholarship for Zimbabwean students. It was established in honor of one of the country’s founding fathers, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo. The scholarship sponsors hundreds of bright high school and tertiary students across the country each year, irrespective of social standing or race.


The scholarship fund was launched in 2005, and its first awardees were given scholarships in 2006. It is administered through a registered independent trust that is governed by a board of trustees, and this board appoints a general manager. Students who are awarded the scholarship are expected to have a strong community spirit and maintain the highest academic as well as personal/moral standards in their community. A significant part of the programme involves the grooming of beneficiaries into leaders.


see more scholarship opportunity