Apply for the Ashinaga Africa Initiative

Now recruiting for 2017 leadership program

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


Applicants must:

  • Be an orphan, having lost one or both parents
  • Be 23 or younger, having been born after October 1, 1994
  • Have graduated high school within the past two years
  • Be committed to returning to Sub-Saharan Africa once they have finished their studies abroad

Required Documents

  • Completed application form
  • Working email address and telephone number
  • Document proving the death of one or both parents, such as a death certificate
  • Proof of age, such as a birth certificate, national ID or passport
  • Secondary school/high school graduation certificate
  • Results from final national exams
  • Academic report cards from the last two years of high school/secondary school
  • Recommendation letter from a principal or teacher
  • Passport-style photo of yourself
  • Both essays described below


Please type/write using a separate sheet of paper. If you choose to handwrite your essays, please write in print and with black ink. Essays written with pencils will not be accepted.

  • Essay 1: Please describe how you grew up and experienced losing your parent(s). What challenges have you faced after the loss and what did you do in order to overcome them? Please provide details, especially the actions you took to continue your education. (Maximum 500 words)
  • Essay 2: Please write a ‘personal statement,’ describing why and what you want to study at a university abroad. Also, please mention whether you have any future plans regarding how you want to use the knowledge and experience that you gain after graduating from university. (Maximum 500 words)

Remember that personal statements are just that—they are about you and no one else. Ashinaga is interested in how you make the most of what is available to you.

Eligible Countries

Anglophone and Lusophone Recruitment (October to February) (Applications now closed)

Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Francophone Recruitment (April to August) (Applications now open)

Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, and Togo

How to apply for the Francophone Recruitment

There are three ways to apply for the Ashinaga Africa Initiative, although we prefer online applications or those sent by email. 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.

  Online Email Post
Step 1 Gather all the required documents, except for the application form. Click here to download the application form Click here to download the application form, or ask for the form from your local Japanese embassy.
Step 2 Scan the required documents in either PDF or JPG format. Print the application form and fill it out. Print the application form and fill it out.
Step 3 Click here to apply online Scan the completed application form and the other required documents in either PDF or JPG format. Make photocopies of your completed application form and all other required documents
Step 4 Application complete Email your scanned documents to:
Use your name and country as the email title.
Send all photocopies to the following address:
Ashinaga Africa Initiative Recruitment Team P. O. Box 16864 – Kampala, UGANDA
Do not send original documents, copies only.
Step 5 Application complete Application complete

Application process

Step English and Portuguese French
Applications open October 1, 2016 March 13,  2017
Applications close February 28, 2017 August 7, 2017
Document screening February-March 2017 July-August 2017
Invitation to interview End of March 2017 End of August 2017
Interviews April 2017 September 2017
Final decision Mid-May 2017 End of September 2017
Notification and acceptance End of May 2017 Early October 2017
Preparation / Health check June 2017 October 2017
Start of study camp Early July 2017 November 2017

Frequently asked questions

Why are you not recruiting from my country?

We are currently unable to accept applications from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Eritrea, and Niger. We are currently preparing our strategy for these countries and are planning to open applications there in the near future.

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 program, and the second is that students aged 23 or older typically have greater difficulty in obtaining a student visa to study abroad.

Why are there two rounds of recruitment?

There are two rounds of recruitment to correspond with the differences in timing for the application procedures of English-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking universities.

Why is the scholarship only for orphans?

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 undergraduate university studies.

How will my university/country of study be decided?

This will be decided during the study camp for students selected for this program. 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 an obituary, a court record, or an official letter from a principal/local government official.

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

You may still apply, however such students would have to apply in the 2nd round of recruitment, and would then have to wait until mid-July 2018 to join the program.

Promotional Materials

If you would like to promote Ashinaga and the Ashinaga Africa Initiative at your school, company, or organization, then you can download our promotional posters and flyers here.

File English* French Portuguese*
Posters Download (3 MB) Download (13 MB) Download (3 MB)
Flyer Download (1 MB) Download (3 MB) Download (1 MB)

*Please note that the deadline for English and Portuguese applications has passed.

Poster examples:

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