- The Krystle Kabare scholarship supports study by disabled female students at the University of Nairobi
- The South African-German Center for Development Research offers MA and PhD Scholarships for the University of Western Cape
- The African School of Economics offers financial aid for BSc, MA, or PhD study in Benin and Côte d’Ivoire
- Rhodes University in South Africa offers a number of MA and PhD scholarships
- KU Leuven offers PhD scholarships to students from a range of low income countries
- Undergraduates from Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are eligible for a small scholarship at the University of Salford
- LSTHM is offering scholarships for the MSc in Global Mental Health to students from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Africa
- Berkeley Law offers an African Legal Impact fellowship for the LLM program
- The Margaret McNamara Education Grants support women from low income countries doing graduate study in the US, Canada, and South Africa
- J-PAL offers the online MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (with an option for continued study in person at MIT) with a sliding tuition scale for students with low incomes
- J-PAL also offers research funding for African scholars focused on digital finance
- The Stephen Klasen Fellowship at the University of Göttingen offers post-docs in economics for scholars from low income countries
- CODESRIA is currently offering large and small research grants for African social scientists
- The African Institute of Mathematical Sciences offers small research grants
- The Youth African Scholars program from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation offers research grants to African scholars working on topics related to violence and conflict
- The L’Oréal For Women in Science Awards offer research funding to a limited number of female scientists around the world each year
- The Africa-Oxford Travel Grant program offers funding for African scholars to spend a short amount of time in residence at Oxford to develop new projects with scholars there
I’ve recently added nearly two dozen new items to my lists of scholarships for African MA and PhD students, and of research and travel funding for African academics. Do check out the full lists! (As always, I can’t provide personalized scholarship advising.)
- The African Leadership University offers a Female Scholars program for BA study
- The Wells Mountain Initiative supports students from low income countries undertaking a BA in another low income country
- Eni offers two MBA scholarships for African students at Oxford
- LSE and UCT offer scholarships for two African students doing the split-site MSc in Global Media and Communications
- Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania has 3 PhD scholarships available
- The Indian Council on Cultural Relations offers MA and PhD funding for African students wishing to study in India
- Google offers a computer science PhD fellowship for African citizens
- The African Population and Health Research Center provides dissertation funding to African PhD students
- The Nordic Africa Institute offers post-docs to African researchers
- The East Africa Research Fund has regular calls for proposals on various topics
- The European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes offers a mentorship program for academics from low income countries
- The University of Birmingham is looking for Cadbury Fellows for a four-week visiting scholar position in African literature
- The Royal Africa Society Prize offers research funding to scientists based in Africa
- CIFAR offers a two-year visiting fellow position and research funding to early career researchers from around the world
- The International Brain Research Association is offering research funding to young scientists based in Africa
- The Swedish Management Institute Program Africa offers a partially-funded business training course for African citizens
- The International Center for Research on Women offers a cash prize to young researchers in the Global South for excellence in field research
- The Review of African Political Economy offers the Lionel Cliffe Research Scholarship to African scholars
- The Philomathia Africa Visiting Research Fellowship offers a residency at Cambridge for mid-career African scholars focused on land use and energy
- USAID’s Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research offers research funding to STEM grad students and academics in a range of low income countries
- The Commonwealth Medical Scholarships allow mid-career medical staff from low income countries to build their skills
- The British Ecological Society provides research funding for ecologists in Africa
I’ve just added almost two dozen new opportunities to my lists of MA and PhD scholarships and post-docs and research funding for African researchers. Check out the new listings below, and the full lists at the links above.
I’m not affiliated with any of these scholarship programs, and can’t answer questions about them or provide personalized scholarship advising.
- The AquayaLEARN fellowship offers three months of training in data visualization for Kenyan MA and PhD students
- The Bongani Mayosi National Health Scholars Programme supports PhD studies at South African unversities
- The Ireland-Africa Fellows program supports African students for one year of MA studies
- The Africa Scholarship Program supports African students in MSc programs at Wageningen University
- The Margaret Busby New Daughters of Africa Award offers funding for African women doing an MA focused on African literature at SOAS
- SheBegan offers MA and PhD fellowships for women from around the world to study at US universities
- The Human Rights LLM Fellowship at Columbia Law School is seeking applicants from low income countries
- The Pulitzer Africa Data Journalism Scholarship covers the cost of an MA in journalism at Columbia University
- The Schlumberger Foundation Faculty for the Future program offers PhD scholarships to women from low income countries
- The University of Bayreuth offers fellowships for researchers in African Studies
- The Institute for Advance Studies in Toulouse offers post-docs in the social sciences, with a preference for applicants from low income countries
- The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership offers a post-doc for African scholars in the biomedical and social sciences
- The International Foundation for Science offers a basic research grant to researchers from low income countries
- Evidence in Governance and Politics has a visiting researcher position for African scholars at the University of California, Berkeley
- The Amartya Sen Prize offers travel funding to attend the World Congress of the International Economic Association
- The Atlantic Fellows program offers yearlong, non-residential fellowships to scholars and activists focused on health and social equality
- Commonwealth Split-Site Scholarships offer PhD students from low income countries the chance to spend 12 months at a UK university
- The Max Planck Institute in Berlin offers a six-month writing fellowship for PhD students from African, Asian and Latin American countries
- The Women, Peace and Security program at Columbia University offers six-month fellowships to African women doing peacebuilding projects
- The Global Change Leaders program at the Coady Institute runs a seven-week leadership program for women from low income countries
Here’s the latest edition of Africa Update. We’ve got a new metro system in Abidjan, culinary imperialism in Kenya, plans to refill Lake Chad with a giant canal, how hospitals in Malawi are getting men to do more housework, and more.
A stunning view of Nairobi, via Kenyapics
West Africa: Follow 5 young Nigerian journalists as they travel across 14 West African countries along the Jollof Road. In Nigeria, former members of Boko Haram and ISIS trafficking survivors have found it very difficult to re-integrate into civilian society. Hundreds of children, some as young as 5, have been arrested by the Nigerian police on suspicion of involvement with Boko Haram. Abidjan is getting a metro system. A new policy that lets cocoa farmers plant in “degraded” forests could lead to widespread deforestation in Côte d’Ivoire. This is a great resource on the history of West Africa at a glance.
Central Africa: This was a thoughtful piece about breaking the cycle of motorcycle theft and violent retribution in the CAR. Members of opposition parties are regularly being killed in Rwanda, although no one wants to point a finger directly at the government. Rwanda is also getting a new nuclear research reactor with support from Russia. The Uganda Law Society has released a new app meant to connect women and girls to legal advice. LGBT+ rights are under threat again in Uganda, with discussion of another law to make gay sex punishable by death. Check out this incredible mixed media piece about one family’s experience becoming refugees after the Congo Wars of the 1990s.
Here’s Atukwasize ChrisOgon‘s take on Chinese investment in Uganda
East Africa: In Kenya, the urban middle class is increasingly turning to “telephone farming” to diversify their income streams. Here’s a wonderful piece about khat and precolonial cuisine in Kenya. See also this piece about the history of culinary imperialism in Kenya. Meet the the Jehovah’s Witnesses targeting Chinese immigrants in Kenya. This is a good overview of Ethiopia’s complicated ethnic and regional politics. There’s an ambitious plan to refill Lake Chad by piping water in from the DRC via the CAR.
Southern Africa: A novel campaign strategy has been spotted in Botswana, where the opposition handed out menstrual pads with the party logo on them. This was a heartbreaking piece about sexual violence in South Africa and the #AmINext movement. Check out this photo essay on the mine-clearing women of Angola. Here’s an insightful long read about what really happened to the billions of dollars that were to be spent on Angola’s post-war reconstruction. Why is Zambia planning to finance almost 10% of its 2020 budget through a mysterious “exceptional revenue” source?
Kismayo sunset, by Said Fadhaye
Gender: Meet Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the first female mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone. Roughly 1/3 of African businesses have no women on their boards, and another 1/ 3 have only one woman. In Malawi, a program which gives pregnant women housing close to hospitals before they deliver their babies has increased their husbands’ housework commitments while they’re away. This is a remarkable portrait of three generations of women who have stood up to dictatorship in Sudan. Kenya’s Gladys Ngetich is breaking barriers about women in STEM with her PhD on improving the efficiency of jet engines.
Business: This is a must-read piece on the political economy of foreign start-ups in Kenya. Orange is developing a new feature phone for the African market which includes social media apps. Uber is launching boat taxis in Lagos. Africa has 15% of the world’s population, but fully 45% of the world’s mobile money activity. African cosmetics companies are getting acquired by international corporations which want to offer better products for black skin and hair. Check out my Mawazo co-founder Rose Mutiso’s TED talk on how to bring affordable electricity to Africa.
The geographic distribution of wealth in Africa looks very different depending on whether it’s measured at the country, province, or district level (via Marshall Burke)
Politics: Africa Check has a great Promise Trackers page checking on the campaign promises of ruling parties in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. In many African countries, political parties aren’t obliged to disclose private donations, in an area ripe for campaign finance reform. In Ghana, the “I Am Aware” project successfully helped people push their local governments to improve the quality of public services like sanitation. More than 45% of African citizens live in a country where the last census was done more than 10 years ago. It turns out that most of Africa’s “civil wars” are actually regional wars.
Public health: Dr Jean-Jacques Muyembe of the DRC discovered Ebola in the 1970s, but has been largely written out of the historical record, until now. Check out this incredible photo essay about Ebola first responders in eastern DRC. Also in the DRC, snakebites are an underdiscussed public health crisis. A new study finds that more than 40% of women are verbally or physically abused while giving birth in Ghana, Guinea and Nigeria. Here’s how toxic masculinity can lead to the spread of HIV in Uganda.
Don’t miss Bisa Butler’s inspiring portraits of Black Americans done in African fabrics
Art + culture: A Togolese vintage clothing dealer is making waves in France by re-importing cast-off clothing previously sent to Togo. Meet Kenyan sculptor Wangechi Mutu, who’s taking over the façade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York until January 2020. What can be done about the spike in fake South African art? Check out the first print issue of Cameroon-based Bawka Magazine, about travel stories. Let’s celebrate these six inspiring young climate activists from low income countries, including Kenya and Uganda. Learn about all the unusual ways that African countries got their names. Here are the rising female artists of Kampala.
Here’s the latest edition of Africa Update. We’ve got Kenya’s first all-female motorcycle gang, pigs on ARVs in Uganda, religious leaders reducing violence against women in the DRC, the rise of the African literary festival, and more.
West Africa: Nigeria is trying to consolidate the 16 different state and federal agencies which currently give people IDs into a single national ID program. Young people in Nigeria are facing police harassment for reasons as small as wearing their hair in dreadlocks or carrying a laptop. In Senegal, people who attempted to seek asylum in Europe but got sent back home are finding it difficult to re-integrate. Ghana overinvested in electricity generation after years of power outages, and now produces more power than it can use.
Evening in Sierra Leone, by Anne Karing
Central Africa: Here’s now the DRC continues to provide state services without much state funding. Programs to combat sexual violence in the DRC often reinforce the patriarchal norms they’re trying to change. Rwanda has forbidden students from crossing the border to attend cheaper DRC schools out of concerns about Ebola. In Uganda, pork farmers may be creating ARV resistance by using the drugs to fatten up their pigs. Here’s what we can learn from Ugandan schools with higher performance on reading outcomes than the national average.
East Africa: This was a really moving piece on the lived experience of displacement in South Sudan, where roughly 40% of the population is displaced after years of war. Sudan has just opened its first women’s football league. I just learned that many Kenyan ethnic groups didn’t bury the dead until the colonial era, when the British decided that burials signified an ancestral connection that could be used to make claims on land. A teenaged Kenyan chess champion can’t compete in international competitions because she doesn’t have a birth certificate, and thus can’t get a passport. “By law, every student in Eritrea must spend their final year of high school at the Warsai Yikealo Secondary School … [which] is inside a military camp.”
Meet Kenya’s first all-female biker gang, the Inked Sisterhood
Southern Africa: Several homeless people have brought a lawsuit against Cape Town to stop the city from fining people for sleeping in public. South African miners just won a landmark lawsuit that forces mining companies to compensate them for lung diseases they contracted at work. Meet South Africa’s Ayakha Melithafa, a 17-year old climate activist who recently petitioned the UN alongside Greta Thunberg.
Public health: The US has warned citizens against traveling to Tanzania amid reports that the country has concealed Ebola deaths. In Kenya, a teenager killed herself after being kicked out of class when she got her period during school hours. Postpartum depression is an understudied topic in countries like Sierra Leone. An Ethiopian university student has invented a non-invasive malaria test after his brother died of the disease. A new drug which treats extremely drug-resistant TB has been approved after trials in South Africa.
Politics + economics: Nigeria has closed its border with Benin in an attempt to stop imports of rice and promote local production. A parliamentary report suggests that Kenya’s flagship infrastructure investments haven’t improved growth in the last decade. This is a great summary of projects mapping paratransit across Africa. Here are the factors that make African militaries more likely to stand with protestorsduring democratization protests. Many African countries are building coal-fired power plants despite abundant renewable resources.
Updates on poverty reduction from the World Bank
Gender: Lack of access to safe abortion is killing Kenyan women. A group of activists have sued the government in Sierra Leone for its ban on pregnant students attending school. In the DRC, a study found that religious leaders play a key role in local campaigns to reduce violence against women. A new study in Kenya finds that cash transfers also reduce rates of violence against women. Across Africa, women are less likely than men to have access to the internet or mobile phones.
Higher education: Here’s some good background on the state of higher educationin Africa. A Kenyan scientist is leading an effort to train 1000 African PhD students in immunology over the next decades. The African Institute of Mathematical Sciences plans to change math education on the continent with a network of campuses in six countries. New data science institutions are also popping up across Africa.
DW has a lovely photo essay on the history of East African kanga
Arts + technology: This was a great thread on studying African literature in African languages written for African audiences. Read about the rise of the literary festivalin Africa. Here’s how Google created a Nigerian accent for Google Maps. Check out the best African films of 2019 so far. Filmmakers in northern Ghana should check out this free training session (applications due Oct. 17).
Scholarships + conferences: Wits University is offering MA, PhD and postdoc funding for studies of urban mobility in Africa (due Nov. 1). Residents of low income Commonwealth countries can apply for split-site PhD funding for study at UK universities (due Nov. 6). If you’re in Nairobi on October 24 – 26, don’t miss the African Studies Association of Africa conference!
Here’s the latest edition of my Africa Update newsletter. We’ve got the Nigerian space program, trans-African highways, online therapy in Kenya, why the Sahara is bad for infant mortality, and more.
A stunning shot of Malindi pier by Peter Ndung’u
West Africa: In Cameroon, Anglophone separatists have been attacking children who attend government schools in an attempt to force the government to negotiate with them. Political space is closing in Equatorial Guinea with the closure of a prominent human rights NGO. Here’s a good background read on Equatorial Guinea’s oil-fueled politics. In Nigeria, the descendants of enslaved people are still fighting for justice and social inclusion. This was an interesting history of Nigeria’s space program. Senegal’s sutura culture of privacy and modesty both constrains queer women and gives them space to pursue relationships.
Central Africa: Rwanda has lots of women in national decision-making positions, but their representation drops at more local levels of government. In Uganda, paralegals are giving legal aid to trans people who have been arrested for not expressing a gender identity that matches their IDs. Burundi has lost another independent media house with the forced closure of the BBC’s local bureau. The DRC’s dilapidated phone network briefly made it a hotspot for early mobile phone adoption in the 1990s.
Map of forced displacement via the Africa Center
East Africa: This was an informative thread on the challenges of getting access to government IDs in Kenya. In Nairobi, “informal housing” often includes multi-story apartment buildings, not just shacks. One year after Eritrea’s peace agreement with Ethiopia, the borders are closed again and little domestic reform has occurred. I didn’t know that one of Somalia’s major export products is dried lemons, mostly sent to the UAE for cleaning supplies. Salaries for Somali army officers take up fully 20% of the country’s defense budget.
Southern Africa: South African has given women in customary marriages the right to inherit property. Harare is running out of water. 3000 students in Mozambique are back in school after the government lifted a ban on pregnant people attending school.
Perhaps one day we’ll be able to drive across the continent on completed highways (via Facts about Africa)
Economics: Six West African countries have committed to adopting a common currency, the eco, by 2020, but the underlying differences in their economies may make this difficult. What can be done to get more investment flowing to local African entrepreneurs instead of expats? This was an interesting long read about the state of the Nigerian banking sector. Uganda’s high unemployment rates come from a lack of decent formal sector jobs, not low skilled job-seekers. Here’s all you need to know about industrial policy in Kenya.
Health: In the DRC, high school students with Ebola have still found ways to take their final exams. A corrupt procurement process left Kenyan hospitals saddled with expensive equipment they didn’t need, even as they were short of basic supplies. Kenya’s national census is counting intersex people for the first time this year. Wazi is a new online therapy program based in Kenya. In Ghana, the national health insurance system is being undermined by the fact that the government rarely pays hospitals on time. Less than half of Kampala’s toilet waste gets routed into water treatment facilities.
Rose Mutiso, Mawazo’s CEO, recording the introduction to the Nairobi Ideas Podcast
Environment: Check out the Mawazo Institute’s new Nairobi Ideas Podcast about African conservation leaders. Here’s how protecting Africa’s elephants could help to slow climate change. These Kenyan activists successfully fought back against a plan to build a coal-fired power plant that the country didn’t really need. Dust from the Sahara substantially increases infant mortality across West Africa, because small particulates damage babies’ lungs.
Arts + literature: Check out Dave Evans’ project to read one book from each African country this year. African Storybook offers free downloads of kids’ books which are customizable in various African languages. Don’t miss this new book on women’s activism in Africa.
If you’re in Nairobi later this month, don’t miss the Macondo Literary Festival!
Conferences + scholarships: Submit your papers on economics in Africa to the Centre for the Study of African Economies by October 18. Here’s why all academic conferences should be in Ethiopia. Apply to be a visiting fellow at the African Studies Centre Leiden. The Ibrahim Leadership Fellowship gives young Africans the chance to work in various international organizations. Chevening scholarships for MA study in the UK are open until November 5. Female scientists in Africa should apply to Science by Women’s visiting fellows program in Spain by September 30.