Australia Awards in Sub-Saharan Africa


Australia’s flagship aid investment to Africa is a substantial but targeted Australia Awards Scholarship program. Through Australia Awards, we contribute to African leadership and human capacity development in the areas of extractives, agricultural and public policy, where Australia has extensive experience and expertise. Australia Awards have been offered in Africa since the 1960s. Australia provided over 360 scholarships to African students in 2016.

The Australia Awards program in Africa promotes and supports Australian development and economic diplomacy objectives in Sub-Saharan Africa through:

  • alumni returning from their scholarship with new skills that help them to contribute to their country's development
  • Australia being recognised and valued by African nations as a strong and reliable partner and source of expertise, and
  • relationships formed between Australian and African people and organisations, which strengthens ties and cooperation.

The Australia Awards program to Africa offers Masters scholarships and short course awards. Our Awards focus on areas where Australia has world class expertise and existing development and economic interests. Australia Awards are open to high calibre applicants from the public, private and community sectors.

Australia Award Scholarships

Australia Award Scholarships are Masters-level awards undertaken at Australian universities. Australia Award Scholarships contribute to the long term objectives of developing countries by equipping Awardees with the skills and knowledge they need to drive change and achieve sustainable economic growth and social development. Scholarships are offered to emerging leaders from eligible countries in a variety of fields aligned with national development priorities and in which Australia has world class expertise.

Profile: Angela Nyambura Gichaga (Kenya)

Angela was awarded an Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Master of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Adelaide, graduating in 2013. Soon after returning home, Angela was promoted to the role of Health Economist in the Directorate of Policy, Planning and Healthcare Financing (Monitoring & Evaluation) Unit within Kenya’s Ministry of Health. Angela links her success to her Australian postgraduate qualification and leadership experience. "My Masters degree has empowered me with skills and knowledge on healthcare financing, a priority area in Kenya, which coupled with leadership and internship experience, allowed me to grow personally and professionally."

Angela’s Australian experience enabled her to perform a situational analysis of Kenya’s healthcare system and identify gaps in service delivery within the Kenyan Ministry of Health. She has learnt to prioritise value for money and health equity both locally and nationally in ways that are efficient, cost effective, and which make optimum use of resources with maximum accountability to ensure quality, accessible, equitable, feasible and sustainable health service delivery.

By combining lessons learnt in Australia and harnessing the resources available in Kenya, Angela intends to continue to add value to the health services offered to her fellow Kenyans.

Australia Awards Africa short courses

The Australia Awards Africa short courses are tailored short (6-8 weeks) post-graduate courses in sectors where Australia has recognised expertise and which are areas of priority to partner governments (agriculture, extractives and public policy). They are delivered through Australian registered training organisations, in partnership with African institutions to promote relevance, to approximately 22 countries. Short courses also provide awardees with a broader set of skills and appreciation for gender equity, inclusive development, good governance, ethics and transparency.

Australia Awards Alumni

Australia Awards alumni represent an engaged and influential global network of leaders, advocates and change-makers. There are currently 5,500 African alumni of Australian Government scholarships, with a growing number occupying senior positions in government, regional organisations and in key commercial sectors. Australia Awards will continue to strengthen these enduring people-to-people links.

Australia-Africa Women’s Forum: shaping the agenda on women’s leadership

"Inspiring, empowering, eye opener, fabulous" are just a few of the words women attending the Australia-Africa Women in Leadership Forum had to say when describing their experience. Hosted by the Australian Government, this two-day Forum focused on Shaping the Future: Increasing Leadership and Opportunity for African Women and was held in Pretoria, South Africa in 2014.

Over 30 delegates from thirteen African nations converged on Pretoria to participate in discussions around best practice in leadership; in particular leadership for and by women. Male and female leaders from the region joined Women Network members in sharing their personal leadership journey with Forum participants.

An important part of the Women Forum was the participation of the Australia Awards African Women in Leadership Network. The Network was launched by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in 2013 to promote Australian Government scholarships to potential female applicants from eligible countries in Africa and to support scholarship recipients embarking on their postgraduate studies in Australia. It also encourages members to engage in and provide leadership for gender equality and development initiatives in their home countries. The Network currently has over 230 members across 39 African countries, with many members involved in efforts to empower women in Africa.

Australia Awards Fellowships

Australia Awards Fellowships are short-term opportunities for study, research and professional attachment in Australia, delivered by Australian organisations. They are currently available across Africa. These fellowships are in addition to those offered under the Australia Awards program to Africa. Further details can be found on our Australia Awards Fellowships page.

Science in Africa – making learning fun

Australia Awards – Africa recently brought a group of 15 African science educators to Canberra to study innovative ways of teaching science for African audiences.

The students, from eight countries in Africa, completed their Australia Awards Fellowships with the Australian National University on 31 May and delivered a performance in the JD Anthony Room on 1 June to demonstrate their new-found skills and knowledge in promoting science and delivering effective science education.

Representing key universities and science centres in eight countries – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mauritius, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe – the fellows showcased an engaging approach to teaching science by using ‘magic’ to stimulate curiosity and demonstrate and explain scientific concepts. Highlights included demonstrating the behaviour of charged polystyrene balls, the effects of levers and fulcrums and using air pressure to power a marshmallow cannon.

Dr Graham Walker and the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at ANU, led this skills development program. The fellows further developed key skills in identifying the fundamental elements of scientific theory and devising entertaining formats to engage and inform their audience. Everyday items were used as props to make science fun, engaging and interactive. The Fellows embraced designing and constructing cost-effective props and were keen to share their ideas and designs with other members of the group.

On return to their home institutions, Fellows will share their new skills with fellow science educators and teachers to promote science education and contribute to the achievement of national development goals.

How to apply

Eligibility criteria for Australia Awards in Africa may differ from country to country. For more details on the application guidelines and eligibility, visit the Australia Awards in Africa website.

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Last Updated: 29 May 2017