The Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) is an international leadership program that cultivates the next generation of leaders to contribute to the development of sub-Saharan Africa. The AAI provides fully-funded scholarships for international university degrees, along with leadership training and support to develop Scholars into compassionate change-makers.
This article will provide you with a detailed explanation of the programme and the application process. Applications require preparation, and by providing you with this article, we hope you will have all the information necessary to submit an outstanding application and increase your chances of being accepted. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to stay abreast of opportunities like this as they become available.
Ashinaga is a Japanese foundation headquartered in Tokyo. They provide financial support and emotional care to young people worldwide who have lost either one or both parents. With a history of more than 55 years, Ashinaga’s support has enabled more than 110,000 orphaned students to gain access to higher education.
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About the Ashinaga Africa Initiative Scholarship
Ashinaga officially launched the Ashinaga Africa Initiative (AAI) in 2014 to target students in rural and underserved communities in sub-Saharan Africa and provide them with the needed assistance to further their education abroad. Since its inception in 2014, the AAI continues to support incoming Scholars across 46 sub-Saharan African countries to study at world-class universities across Japan, Europe, the USA, and Brazil. Ashinaga support covers tuition, accommodation, travel costs, and other necessary fees, making this initiative a highly sought-after fully-funded scholarship opportunity.
How the AAI Works
The journey of an Ahinaga scholar is typically divided into three stages: the registration and application stage, acceptance and study camp/preparation, scholarship at an international university and finally, graduation. This article will shed light on each of what these steps entail.
- The Registration and Application Phase: All applicants must first apply to Ashinaga via the online application, email, or post. Interviews follow subsequently after this stage. Please note that applying for the Ashinaga Africa Initiative is a long process, and you will not receive the results until the end of May 2022.
- Acceptance, Study and Preparation Camp: Ashinaga will select students in each sub-Saharan African country to participate in a Study Camp in Uganda or Senegal during the months of July to December 2022, subject to confirmation given the continued disruption of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Anglophone students will typically attend the Camp in Uganda, with Francophone students attending the Camp in Senegal. During the Study Camp, students are assisted in their academic preparation, university applications (to either Japan, the UK, the USA, or Europe), career planning and leadership development. After completing the Study Camp, the students will progress to a second camp called Preparation Camp. This happens between April and June 2023, with the dates also subject to confirmation. Students meet again to prepare for the social, cultural, and academic differences they will discover abroad. Students will then proceed to university in August or September of 2023. Interestingly, Ashinaga fully covers all the costs during both camps :).
- During University (Scholarship): The AAI helps students access full financial support to study abroad. The support covers the first possible qualification that can be earned, and the costs of a foundation or preparatory course will also be covered if required. Ashinaga has regional offices to support students during their studies in Japan, the UK, the U.S.A., France, and Brazil. Scholars will participate in a mandatory internship in their home country or sub-Saharan Africa and join Ashinaga’s leadership development programmes. The Ashinaga Africa Initiative Scholarship does not accept students who wish to study for a second or master’s degree.
- After Graduation: Scholars are required to return to their home countries or sub-Saharan Africa within four years after graduating and contributing to the country/region while living there for at least one year. They will have to contact Ashinaga during this period to provide information about their activity and residency.
As already highlighted throughout this post, the Ashinaga Africa Initiative Scholarship is fully-funded. If accepted into the program, applicants will get all their university expenses covered. Below are some of the costs that Ashinaga will take care of:
- Preparatory camp in Uganda or Senegal.
- Full university tuition.
- Living expenses will be covered (including room and board).
- Flight tickets to and fro your home country will be paid for.
- Access to Ashinaga’s assistance and acre wherever you are studying via their regional offices.
- Stipends will be provided etc.
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The AAI is open to students who:
- Have lost one or both parents.
- Have completed secondary school and received the results of their national secondary school examination (technical and vocational degrees not accepted) within the last two years (any date after August 2nd 2019, including all of 2020 and 2021) or will have completed secondary school and received final exam result before February 28th, 2022.
- Have citizenship and have completed/are completing high school in one of the following countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, CAR, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, DRC, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Kingdom of eSwatini, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Seychelles, Sudan, Tanzania, The Gambia, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
- Were born after September 1st 1999 (Not older than 23 years).
- Do not have the means to attend university abroad without external financial support.
- Are proficient in English French, or Portuguese.
- Are regularly ranked in the top 10% of their class during their last 2 or 3 years of secondary school.
- Can participate in the two Ashinaga preparatory programmes, over one year, before attending university.
- Are committed to returning home and contributing to society in sub-Saharan Africa after their graduation.
- Have no dependents who could interfere with academic progress.
- Have a good enough health condition to be able to study abroad.
Documents Needed to Apply
You will be required to submit the following documents at each stage of the application process:
- Photo or scan of at least one of the following documents: Passport, National ID Card or Birth Certificate.
- Photo or scan of your most recent High School Term Report/Transcript
- Photo or scan of your final High School Examination Results Certificate (if applicable)
- Passport style photograph.
- Passport or National ID Card.
- Birth certificate of the applicant.
- Death certificate of deceased parent(s), including the deceased parent’s name, or alternative official documentation proving the parent’s death (s) or orphan status.
- All term reports / secondary school transcripts for the last 2 years.
- Final secondary school examination certificate, showing grades in each subject. Students receiving their examination results in February 2022 should send their examination certificate as soon as possible after they have received it.
- A letter of recommendation written by a principal or school teacher. This should include their email address and phone number and must contain information about the applicant’s performance and character whilst at secondary school. All recommendation letters should have an official signature or stamp.
- Academic transcripts or other results provided by their university (if applicable).
- Certificates for extracurricular activities, training courses, jobs or commitments (if applicable).
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The key dates for the 2022 Ashinaga Africa Initiative Scholarship selection process are listed below:
- August 2nd 2021 - Application opens
- 28th January 2022 – Applicant Registration deadline
- 7th February 2022 – Deadline to submit a complete application
- March 2022 - Shortlisted applicants notified
- April 2022 – Ashinaga Assessment (interview and exam) conducted during this month
- May 2022 - Selection results announced
- June 2022 - Selected applicants prepare for Study Camp in Uganda or Senegal
- July 2022 - Study Camp Starts
How to Make Your AAI Application Stand Out
Ashinaga has shared with My Scholarship Info what they look out for when selecting applicants. They have also shared with us how to make your application stand out. We will be sharing those tips in our August 2021 newsletter. Would you mind ensuring you have subscribed to our newsletter to receive this critical update?
How to Apply
If you want to apply immediately, please visit the Ashinaga Scholarship Application Portal. However, we strongly encourage you to visit the official website for the Ashinaga Africa Initiative Scholarship for more important information, which we may have left out and to subscribe to our newsletter at the end of this post.
Note: Ashinaga does not support candidates for medical (doctor), dentistry, veterinary science or pharmacy degrees, although it does support three or four-year degrees in biomedicine.
Thanks for reading this far. Should you have further questions or seek clarification, please email us or join our WhatsApp platform below. Meanwhile, below is a video for this particular program. It's just 4 minutes so I'd advise you to watch it for more information. Best wishes!
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