The scholarship programme “Leadership for Africa” (LfA) aims to support the academic qualification and advancement of young refugees and national scholars from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and South-Sudan at higher education institutions in Germany.

In times of conflicts and displacement in various African countries, this programme intends to contribute to the education of future leaders, who will be essential for the reconstruction and / or further development of their home countries. “Leadership for Africa” offers scholarships for studies in Germany to qualified applicants in all fields of study with the exception of public health, medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, law, the arts and architecture. All “Leadership for Africa” scholarship holders benefit from a complementary study programme in good governance, civil society, and sustainable project management. The mandatory programme with several attendance phases each year must be completed in addition to the regular studies.

The deadline for application has passed, please visit this page again for the new call for application.

More details


Who can apply?

The programme targets two different groups.

  • Highly qualified refugees who hold refugee status and fulfil the necessary qualifications for Master’s studies in Germany.

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

  • Holding refugee status in their host countries, being granted before 17.05.2021.
  • Country of asylum must be either Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan or Tanzania.
  • Completed Bachelor’s degree at least at the time of arrival in Germany.
  • Highly qualified graduates from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan or Tanzania

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

  • Citizenship of Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan or Tanzania
  • Country of residence must be Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan or Tanzania at the time of application.
  • Completed Bachelor’s degree at least at the time of arrival in Germany.

What is supported?

The scholarship includes:

  • Language course (2-6 months) in Germany before the start of the university studies.
  • A. or M.Sc. degree programme completed at a state or state-recognized university in Germany
  • Accompanying side study programme (mandatory) in good governance, civil society and sustainable project management. This has to be completed in addition to the regular studies.

Duration of Funding

Generally, selected candidates will start their German language course in April 2022 and take up their M.A. or M.Sc. studies at a German institution of higher education by October 1st, 2022. The duration of funding is determined by the standard period of study of the chosen program. In general, Master’s programs require two years of full-time study.


  • If necessary: Language course (2, 4 or 6 months) in Germany before the start of the study programme including the coverage of the test fees for a German language certificate.
  • Accompanying study programme
  • Monthly scholarship rate payments of 861 EURO
  • Adequate health, accident, and private/personal liability insurance in Germany.
  • Travel allowance.
  • One-off study allowance.

If applicable, family allowance and monthly rent subsidy.


A pre-selection will take place based on the submitted application documents. Preselected candidates will be invited to an interview with an independent selection committee of university professors in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan or Tanzania.

Please note: Preselected candidates must present originals of all previously submitted documents at the interview.

In addition to previous achievements in school and university, language skills and the general motivation, the main selection criterion is a convincing description of the planned studies in Germany. Equally important will be a reflected answer how the chosen academic field can contribute to the further development of the home country.

As a general rule the candidate‘s personal appearance for an interview is a requirement for the award of the scholarship. The journey to the place of the interview is at the candidate’s own risk. Travel costs must be covered by the applicant.

Due to the ongoing Covid19-pandemic DAAD will make an exception to the rule and substitute the personal appearance in 2021 with an interview exclusively held online via video conference.

Application requirements

  • Successful completion of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree which qualifies to study for a master at an officially recognized university in Germany.
  • A Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree of at least 2nd class upper division level is required.
  • Not more than 6 years as a rule should have passed since the completion of the last academic degree.
  • Good English or good German language skills.
  • Notification of admission from the German host university for the desired master study programme; Please note that the applicant itself is responsible for ensuring to apply for admission at the host university by the due date. If notification of admission or the application process itself is not yet available at the time of application, it must be subsequently submitted before the scholarship-supported study begins. A Scholarship Award Letter from the DAAD is only valid if you have been admitted to a master study programme at a public German Institute for Higher Education.

Language Skills

The language of instruction in study programmes in Germany is usually German, or in international programmes English or German and English. To be admitted to a programme, one is therefore usually required to submit an appropriate language certificate (e.g. DSH or TestDaF if the language of instruction is German). The necessary language skills for the desired field of study have to be proven at the latest by the start of study program. Suitable proof of necessary language skills or the ability to acquire them within the language course has to be submitted with the application documents. Generally, the possession of necessary language skills will be assumed, if proof of knowledge of German level B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and/or English corresponding to IELTS band 6 or TOEFL (550 paper based, 213 computer based, 80 internet based) is submitted.

Application documents

The application is to be sent online only through the DAAD portal.

  • Please note that the “Application portal” tab in the scholarship database only appears while the current application period is running. Once the application deadline is expired, the portal for this programme is not accessible until next year’s application period.
  • Please note that all documents must be uploaded in the portal. Incomplete applications will be formally rejected and will be excluded from the application process.

Required documents:

  • DAAD application form duly completed (available on the DAAD Portal)
  • Curriculum vitae (max. 3 pages) containing information about the applicant’s academic career to date and current or previous employers. (please use the European specimen form at Home | Europass)
  • Letter of Motivation (1-3 pages) containing a precise description of the applicant’s academic / professional and personal reasons for the choice of degree programme and for wishing to participate in the programme.
  • DAAD Form “Information about your preferred master programmes” duly completed (please specify at least 3 Master´s programmes) and proof of contact to the universities of the desired master programmes. Please be aware that DAAD can´t pay tuition fees. This should be taken into consideration while deciding for the master programmes.”
  • Proof of necessary language skills.
  • University degree certificate indicating final grade(s): the certificate must be subsequently submitted at least at the time of arrival in Germany if studies have not been completed at the time of application.
  • All university certificates on all annual examinations with individual grade(s), incl. explanation of grading system (Transcript of Records).
  • A summary of your undergraduate project or thesis (e.g. Bachelor´s thesis) (1 page). If your undergraduate studies did not include a final project or thesis, please upload a short explanation instead.
  • Copy of school-leaving certificate which entitles holders to study at a university in the home country (with all individual grades).

German or English translations of documents submitted in the national language (points 6 to 8).

Copies of the applicant’s passport and all passport pages and other documents containing information about the applicant and their current residence status. If applicable: UNHCR registration.


  • Recommendation letter(s) by a university professor.
  • Additional documents that might be relevant for your application (e.g. proof of internships, proof of employment).
  • If already existing a valid admission to a Master’s degree programme at a public German Institute of Higher Education.

Deadline and Submission of Applications

Applications can only be made via the DAAD Portal

Applications submitted through other channels or to other authorities will not be considered.

The deadline for submitting applications has passed.

Contact and Advice

If you have any further questions, please look at: Leadership for Africa FAQs.

You could also contact us via Email or telephone:

DAAD Regional Office for Africa


Madison Insurance House, 3rd floor, Upper Hill Close,

P.O. Box 14050 00800 Nairobi (no physical visits at the moment).

Phone number: +254 (733) 92 99 29