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The DAAD ‘Leadership for Africa’ scholarship programme has been successfully launched

Two african students

DAAD Leadership for Africa Programme, © UNHCR/Antoine Tardy

22.04.2021 - Article

Joint Press release by German Foreign Office (AA), DAAD and UNHCR

‘Leadership for Africa’ enables the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD) to offer talented young people from African countries with high numbers of refugees the chance to study for a master’s degree in Germany. The first selection of 51 scholarship holders has just taken place in cooperation with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt – AA) provides funding of some 2.5 million euros per year for the project.

‘Studying in Germany offers so much more than a mere educational qualification. It gives many people the opportunity to progress in their career and in society. It also enables students to develop both themselves and their abilities and to become politically or socially active. I am therefore very pleased that over 50 young people from different countries in Eastern Africa can now enjoy this opportunity,’ said DAAD President Professor Joybrato Mukherjee.

DAAD is once again demonstrating via the “Leadership for Africa” programme that studying in Germany is far more than a building block in your curriculum vitae: it is an opportunity to exploit and develop your own potential.

Germany is aware of the difficult situation facing many refugees and jointly with its partners is striking out in new and sustainable directions to assist these people,’ said Michelle Müntefering, Minister of State for International Cultural and Educational Policy at the Federal Foreign Office.

‘Education is the key to a better future for many young refugees. Yet only three percent of them have the chance to attend a university anywhere in the world. Programmes that provide opportunities to these young talents are more important than ever in light of the many interrupted educational pathways caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Germany has for decades been a pioneer of such educational initiatives for refugees – a commitment that the UNHCR welcomes and supports,’ said Katharina Lumpp, UNHCR representative in Germany.

Local selection interviews – even in refugee camps

In addition to refugees with bachelor’s degrees who are officially recognised in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan, the programme is also open to locally based graduates from these four countries.
A total of 510 interested young people applied, 109 of them being recognised refugees. The selection procedure has now chosen the first 51 scholarship holders: from the coming winter semester, 19 refugees and 32 other bachelor graduates from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Sudan will be starting at a German university. The coronavirus pandemic meant that all selection interviews were held online – partly involving technically difficult digital connections directly into UNHCR refugee camps.

More than just a scholarship

The scholarship holders are awarded a scholarship to finance their master’s degree course at a German higher education institution. DAAD also supports them in finding the right degree course and during the enrolment process. The programme furthermore includes an extensive supplementary programme with courses on understanding democracy, the rule of law and sustainable economic and social development. ‘Leadership for Africa’ aims to leverage a German master’s degree and proficiency from the supplementary programme to improve scholarship holders’ career opportunities and enable them to contribute to successful and socially relevant professional development in their home country or another country. Further advice on the programme is offered by the DAAD regional office in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.


If you have any questions, please contact:

DAAD Regional Office for Africa
Contact: Director Beate Schindler-Kovats
Email: lfa.nairobi@daad.de
Madison Insurance House, 3rd floor, Upper Hill Close,
P.O. Box 14050
00800 Nairobi
Phone number: +254 (733) 92 99 29

Website: ‘Leadership for Africa’ scholarship Programme

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