The DAAD Leadership for Africa scholarship programme

The scholarship programme “Leadership for Africa” (LfA) aims to support the academic qualification and advancement of young refugees and national scholars from  Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda 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 further development of their home countries. “Leadership for Africa” offers scholarships for Master studies in Germany to qualified applicants in all fields of study except for medicine1, veterinary medicine, dentistry, law, the arts2 and architecture3. All “Leadership for Africa” scholarship holders benefit from a complementary training programme in good governance, civil society, and career development. The mandatory programme must be completed in addition to the regular studies.

With a Degree in Medicine, you can apply for Public Health or Biomedical Master related programmes only. A Master programme in Medicine is not eligible for funding. This includes all types of degree programmes in the fields of design, visual and performing arts, drama and music. See separate DAAD scholarship offers in the scholarship database. See separate DAAD scholarship offers in the scholarship database.

Who can apply?

The programme targets two groups.

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

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

Holding refugee status in their host countries, being granted before 18th of April 2023

  • Country of asylum must be either Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda
  • Completed Bachelor’s degree at time of application.

2. Highly qualified graduates from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda who fulfil the necessary qualifications for Master studies in Germany.

Applicants must fulfil the following conditions:

Citizenship of either Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda

Country of residence is Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda

Completed Bachelor’s degree at time of application.

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What is supported?

The scholarship includes:

  • Language course (up to 6 months) in Germany before the start of the university studies.
  • Tuition-free M.A. or M.Sc. degree programme at a public or state-recognized university in Germany starting in winter term 2023 (September/October 2023)
  • Additional mandatory training programme LEAD!

Duration of Funding

Generally, selected candidates will start their German language course in April 2023 and take up their studies at a German institution of higher education by approx. October 1st, 2023. The duration of funding is determined by the standard period of study of the chosen programme.
In general, Master’s programmes 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 (TestDaF or DSH test), pocket money and accommodation. The DAAD decides whether to fund participation and for how long depending on German language skills and project. Participation in a language course is compulsory if the study programme is taught in German.
  • Additional mandatory training programme LEAD!
  • Monthly scholarship rate payments of 861 EURO
  • Adequate health, accident, and private/personal liability insurance in Germany.
  • Travel allowance.
  • Yearly study allowance.
  • If applicable, monthly rent subsidy and monthly allowance for
    accompanying family members (spouse and/or children).


A pre-selection will take place based on the submitted application documents. Only complete applications with all mandatory documents will be considered. Preselected candidates will be invited to an (digital) interview with an independent selection committee of university professors.

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 and the suitable choice of study programmes in the DAAD form “Study course profile”.

To ensure equal opportunities, social criteria such as special life circumstances, migration background or students from non-academic families can play a role. Criteria such as social engagement about which you can provide information in the application form are also taken into account.

For further information on the selection procedure, please refer to 

Application requirements

Explanatory note: Please note that the scholarship applicant is responsible for ensuring to apply for admission at the German host university by the due date. The application process for winter term 2023 is not available at the time of application for the scholarship.

Application periods for winter term programmes at German universities usually start in spring every year. Please be aware that 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 and/or German. 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, Toefl/IELTS in case
of English).

The necessary language skills for the desired field of study must be proven at the latest by the start of study programme.

Suitable proof of necessary language skills or the ability to acquire them within the German language course must be submitted with the application documents.

Application documents

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.

The following documents may be scanned in non-certified form and uploaded to the DAAD portal.
If you submit documents in your national language, you must include English or German translations.

Required documents:

  • Online 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, former scholarships, current address and current or previous employers. (Please use the European specimen form at
  • 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 “Study course profile” duly completed (please specify 3 Master´s programmes). Please be aware that DAAD  does not consider your suggestions of master programmes
    which charge tuition fees. This should be taken into consideration while deciding for the master programmes.
  • Proof of necessary language skills for the desired master programmes
  • University degree certificate indicating final grade(s)
    including transcripts of records for all study years with all
    individual grades incl. explanation of grading system.
  • Copies of the applicant’s passport/national identification card and copies of the applicant’s passport’s/national identification card’s biodata page and other documents containing information about the applicant and their current residence status.
  • For refugees: UNHCR registration or official proof of asylum by authorities.


Other documents you think might be of relevance to your application (e.g., certificates of employment and/or internship, proof of former scholarships, extracurricular engagement, recommendation letters, (expired) admissions to a German master programme)


June 9th, 2023

Submission of Applications

The application is to be sent EXCLUSIVELY through the DAAD portal found here.

Apply Online


Applications submitted through other channels or to other  authorities will not be considered.
The DAAD portal closes at 24.00 hrs. Central European Time (CET) on the last application day.
Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their applications are complete.

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.

Contact and Advice

Helpful information

If you have any further questions, please look at our FAQs here
or 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) 929 929

The DAAD Regional Office for East Africa regularly offers virtual
information and counselling seminars (WebSeminars) during the
application period for the programme.
More information at:

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