The Ashinaga Africa Initiative

Contributing to Sub-Saharan Africa’s development through higher education abroad

Ashinaga established the Ashinaga Africa Initiative in 2014 with the aim of contributing to Sub-Saharan Africa’s long-term development by empowering a generation of future leaders. Our students receive an international university education, comprehensive support throughout their studies, and the means to return home and be agents of positive change.

How to Apply

The Key Elements of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative

Beyond simply providing financial aid, our program has five key features to ensure that students receive the education, training, networks, and opportunities needed to realize their vision for Sub-Saharan Africa.

  1. The Selection: Selecting talented students is key to the effectiveness of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative. For this reason, we have developed a rigorous selection process in cooperation with embassies, partner NGOs, and local education experts from each country.
  2. The Support: We are with our students every step of the way, with full-time staff available to provide guidance whenever necessary.
  3. The Network: Students are connected to a global network of volunteer mentors, Ashinaga alumni, partner organizations, our Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council, and fellow students.
  4. The Proposal: During their studies, our students spend four years developing a thoroughly researched proposal addressing an issue faced by their local community.
  5. The Promise: Most importantly, all of our students promise to pass on the benefits of their education. They do this by returning and contributing to Sub-Saharan Africa’s development.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is a region of immense vibrancy, innovation, and growth. It has the youngest population of any region, abundant natural resources, and is experiencing rapid economic development.

Even so, Sub-Saharan Africa faces numerous institutional problems that challenge its ability to realize its potential. Moreover, the region has the highest proportion of orphaned youth in the world, many of whom struggle to access education. Ashinaga believes that, when given the opportunity, these orphaned students are capable of academic success and becoming the compassionate leaders that Sub-Saharan Africa needs to excel.

A Generation of New Leaders

All of our students have one shared, distinguishing feature: they have all experienced the psychological pain and economic hardship of being orphaned. We believe that this experience gives all of our students a strong sense of empathy and further drive to prevent such hardships for future generations.

International higher education is a means by which these scholars can gain the tools necessary to address the challenges facing the region. An international education will give Ashinaga Scholars invaluable experience in their academic sector, working across cultures, and living in different societies. We are confident that the empowered Ashinaga Scholars will grow African businesses, strengthen universities, improve governments, and unlock the potential of Sub-Saharan Africa.


The Kenjin-Tatsujin International Advisory Council is a body of international leaders that forms a key part of the Ashinaga Africa Initiative. They are highly renowned businesspeople, academics, lawmakers, artists, athletes, and entertainers with significant influence within their respective fields.

Kenjin-Tatsujin members lend their support to the Ashinaga Africa Initiative by providing collective input to improve each element of the program, as well as connecting our students to universities, careers, and opportunities to turn their ideas into a reality.

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Our Progress

We have made significant process since the program’s inception in 2014.

  • 2014 – 10 students, 10 countries
  • 2015 – 35 students, 25 countries
  • 2016 – 67 students, 34 countries
  • 2017 – 111 students, 37 countries
  • 2018 – 159 students, 44 countries
  • 2019 – 184 students, 44 countries*


Student destinations have included institution such as SOAS, University of London, the University of Manchester, Imperial College London, the American University, Princeton University, Waseda University, Ritsumeikan University, Keio University, Institut Sup’Biotech de Paris, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Queensland, and the University of New South Wales.

Hear From Our Students

Join the Ashinaga Africa Initiative

Gain an international education and make an impact.
How to apply

Other ways to join:

Contribute your time and skills at one of Ashinaga’s regional offices.
As a volunteer 

Commit to the Ashinaga Africa Initiative through interning with us in either Japan, Uganda, or Senegal.
As an intern

Work together with us to provide further opportunities to young people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Become a partner

Help fund a fair and equitable future for Sub-Saharan Africa.

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