Scholarships For African Students With Leadership Experience

Mary Joseph
Mary Joseph February 22, 2024
Updated 2024/02/22 at 12:30 AM
Leadership scholarship for African students


If you’re a youth eager to create a worldwide effect, it’s beneficial to seize opportunities tailored for young individuals showing leadership potential. These initiatives offer specialized training, mentorship, covered travel expenses, accommodations, and sometimes funding for your projects.

The YALI Mandela Washington Fellowships

The Mandela Washington Fellowships for Young African Leaders represents the flagship initiative of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), established by President Obama in 2010 to empower young African leaders in fostering economic growth, strengthening democratic governance, and promoting peace and security across the continent.

Application Deadline: October 11th

Number of Awardees: Maximum of 1000

Fellowship Benefits: If chosen for the Fellowship, all expenses will be covered by the U.S. government. This support includes:

  • Assistance with obtaining a J-1 visa
  • Round-trip travel from the Fellow’s home city to the U.S. and within the U.S. as needed for the program
  • Participation in a six-week academic and leadership institute
  • Attendance at a concluding Summit in Washington, DC
  • Accident and sickness insurance coverage
  • Housing and meals during the program
  • An optional six-week Professional Development Experience (available to up to 100 Fellows)
  • Please be aware that the Fellowship does not provide salary compensation for time away from work or funds for personal purchases such as gifts.

The Obama Foundation Leadership Scholarship

The Obama Foundation aims to identify a diverse cohort of up-and-coming African leaders across various sectors—government, civil society, and the private sphere—who have shown dedication to advancing societal well-being.

The program’s goal is to cultivate a dynamic network of ethical and innovative changemakers committed to fostering positive transformations in their communities. Ideal candidates exhibit potential for meaningful impact, a steadfast commitment to integrity, and a willingness to remain engaged with the Obama Foundation beyond the program’s duration.

We welcome both promising individuals early in their journeys and those who have already achieved success.

Application Deadline: March 25th

Number of Awards: Not specified

Duration of Program: The inaugural Leaders Africa Program class will convene in Johannesburg, South Africa, and engage in comprehensive online activities throughout the year.

Scholarship Opportunity In Canada For Young Leaders

The Global Youth Leaders Certificate, offered at Coady Institute over three weeks, serves as an educational opportunity for young development professionals hailing from developing nations. Its aim is to bolster their leadership skills, fostering their ability to instigate innovation and enact change within their respective organizations and communities. Rooted in practical experiences, the program centers on Coady’s core thematic areas. Participants immerse themselves in a collaborative learning atmosphere alongside peers worldwide, cultivating a potential lifelong support network. Applications are due by April 30th.

Focus Area: Participants delve into practical learning experiences centered on Coady’s core thematic areas.

Benefits: Successful candidates of the Global Youth Leadership program receive a comprehensive scholarship covering tuition, travel, accommodation, and meals. Moreover, they gain access to invaluable guidance and mentorship from accomplished global leaders.

The CGIU Scholarship

Every year, CGI U organizes a gathering where students, university representatives, experts in various fields, and celebrities convene to explore and generate innovative solutions to urgent global issues. Students formulate their own Commitments to Action aimed at tackling challenges either on campus, in local communities, or on a global scale.

Important Dates:

Early Decision and Travel Assistance deadline: March 16th

Regular Decision deadline: April 23rd

Number of Awards: Not specified

Program Benefits: CGI U offers need-based travel assistance to a select number of students to facilitate their participation in the CGI U meeting. Applicants can apply for this assistance concurrently with their application to attend CGI U. (Please note that students are only eligible for travel assistance if they apply by the Early Decision deadline).

The Next Generation Leaders Initiative Scholarship

The Next Generation Leaders initiative provides an opportunity for up to 20 emerging leaders worldwide to undergo a year-long program focused on both professional and personal growth, with a strong emphasis on values, ethics, and leadership. The aim is to cultivate a global network of principled leaders who will have a lasting impact on the future. The application deadline is February 9th, and successful candidates will receive a stipend covering living expenses, a travel allowance, health insurance, and workers’ compensation as per visa regulations. After an initial training in Washington, participants will embark on placements across the United States to gain relevant professional experience aligned with their future aspirations.

The United Nations Young Leaders Scholarship

The United Nations has introduced the first group of Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals. Comprising 17 dynamic individuals, these young changemakers are driving progress towards achieving the Goals. Hailing from diverse backgrounds spanning food, fashion, finance, and more, they represent various regions worldwide and are actively mobilizing fellow youth in support of the Goals.

This cohort of Young Leaders will unite to bolster initiatives aimed at involving young people in fulfilling the SDGs. They will leverage their existing projects, platforms, and networks alongside strategic opportunities with the UN to galvanize youth participation.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Advocating for the Goals in ways that resonate with young people from different contexts.
  • Championing innovative approaches to engage their peers and audiences in advocating for and realizing the Goals.
  • Contributing their expertise as part of a collective brain trust of young leaders to support key initiatives and moments related to the Goals in collaboration with the UN and its partners.

The Eisenhower Global Fellowship

Eisenhower Fellowships gathers forward-thinking leaders from diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise, all dedicated to addressing significant global challenges. Despite their varied origins and pursuits, these Fellows share a common goal: to contribute to a more peaceful, prosperous, and equitable world. The Global Program, held in spring, convenes approximately 25 Fellows from 25 different countries. In autumn, EF offers specialized programs focused on specific regions like Southeast Asia, the Middle East, or Africa, or on thematic interests such as women’s leadership, urbanization, energy, or innovation.

Application Deadline: June 8th

Number of Awards: Approximately 25 Fellows

Program Benefits:

  • Fully funded opportunity to visit the United States
  • Networking and professional development experiences within the U.S.
  • Eisenhower Fellows leverage their interactions with fellow leaders to explore critical issues relevant to their personal and professional growth, seeking to generate lasting impacts from their fellowship experiences.

The Archbishop Tutu Scholarship

The Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme, AFLI’s premier initiative for cultivating leadership, invites a select cohort of Africa’s most promising young leaders from diverse fields. Spanning six months on a part-time basis, the program features two intensive 9-day Group Learning Modules.

Application Deadline: December 15th

Number of Recipients: 20

Fellowship Benefits Include:

  • Eligibility for awards
  • Advocacy platforms
  • Networking events and memberships
  • Access to projects and campaigns
  • Collaboration with peers on joint initiatives
  • Potential job prospects
  • Exposure across Africa
  • Participation in multi-country gatherings
  • Leadership roles in regional projects and organizations
  • International exposure
  • Media visibility
  • Peer accountability
  • Consideration for board positions in prominent companies and organizations

Scholarship for Young Leaders By The Queen

The Queen’s Young Leaders Programme seeks to recognize outstanding young individuals who have demonstrated leadership qualities within their communities. This distinctive and transformative Award offers a tailored package of training and mentorship. Winners will also participate in a one-week residential program in the UK, where they will be honored by Her Majesty The Queen. Supported by this initiative, awardees are expected to further develop their impactful community work.

Deadline for Applications: August 21st

Number of Awardees: 60

Program Benefits:

Mentorship: Each Queen’s Young Leader will be paired with a mentor possessing relevant experience and expertise, providing guidance throughout the year to advance their initiatives.

Online Learning: Participants will access online resources tailored to their interests, fostering connections with fellow Queen’s Young Leaders and facilitating knowledge exchange.

UK Residential Program: Awardees will engage with notable figures and visit esteemed organizations in the UK, focusing on areas such as media, social action, and advocacy. The highlight of the week will be the presentation of Awards by Her Majesty The Queen at Buckingham Palace.

The WEF Scholarship

The World Economic Forum’s Global Leadership Fellows Programme is designed to equip individuals for leadership roles in today’s increasingly intricate and uncertain global landscape. The program tackles some of the toughest global challenges by fostering a collaborative approach between the public and private sectors. Spanning three years, it integrates hands-on experience, an innovative curriculum, personalized coaching, and a robust alumni network. Applications close on August 15th.

While the number of awards is unspecified, participants stand to gain invaluable skills, including navigating complexity and ambiguity, thriving in dynamic environments, developing agility and resilience, earning a Master’s in Systems Leadership, and engaging with influential global figures and organizations.

The TEDGlobal Scholarship

The TEDGlobal Fellowships aim to unite young pioneers across diverse fields, recognizing their exceptional achievements and bravery. Unlike programs targeting business professionals or policymakers, TED Fellows celebrate individuals who actively create, innovate, advocate, and express themselves through various mediums like film, photography, music, and art, alongside scientists, entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, and human rights activists. The fellowship, offered twice a year, presents a unique opportunity.

Application Deadline: September 10th

Number of Recipients: Twenty (20)

Fellowship Benefits:

  • Participation in the TED Fellowship can significantly propel one’s career.
  • Fellows gain access to a robust network of innovators, fostering potential future collaborations.
  • Attending and speaking at the TED Conference enables Fellows to amplify their message and connect with individuals who could further their careers.
  • Beyond the conference, Fellows receive personalized mentorship and speaker coaching.
  • Once selected, all expenses including flights (or equivalent), visa requirements, accommodations, meals, and conference passes are covered.












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