The German Bundestag Scholarship Program for Young Africans


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The German Bundestag Scholarship Program for Young Africans is an incredible opportunity for young leaders from African countries to study and conduct research in Germany. This prestigious scholarship program, funded by the German Parliament, aims to foster democracy and civil society by supporting the next generation of African scholars and professionals. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about this life-changing scholarship program.

Overview of the Scholarship Program

The German Bundestag Scholarship Program was established in 1996 to provide young Africans with advanced education and opportunities in Germany. Each year, up to 50 scholarships are awarded to young professionals from Sub-Saharan African countries to pursue Master’s degrees or research projects in Germany for up to two years.

The scholarship covers the cost of living, health insurance, tuition fees, travel expenses, and more. Scholars have the opportunity to study at German universities and research institutions while building relationships with academics, experts, and policymakers. The program aims to empower young African leaders with new skills and perspectives so they can advance development in their home countries.

Benefits of the Scholarship

The German Bundestag Scholarship provides recipients with a comprehensive package of benefits:

  • A monthly stipend of 850 EUR to cover the cost of living expenses
  • Health, accident, and liability insurance
  • Travel expenses to and from Germany
  • Tuition fees and study materials were paid in full
  • German language training prior to studies
  • Opportunities for internships at German institutions
  • Extensive networking, mentoring, and cultural exchange
  • Certificate upon completion of the program

Scholars gain access to world-class academics, research facilities, and professional networks in Germany. They have the freedom to choose their own course of study and research projects based on their interests and their home country’s needs. Upon returning home, scholars are equipped to catalyze progress in their communities.

German Bundestag Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

The German Bundestag Scholarship has strict eligibility requirements. Applicants must:

  • Be aged 23-33 years old
  • Have completed a first degree (minimum 3 years) with excellent grades
  • Be citizens and current residents of a Sub-Saharan African country
  • Have completed German language proficiency or be willing to undergo intensive language training
  • Have clear career goals and plans to apply skills in your home country
  • Have not previously studied or lived in Germany for over 15 months

Applicants will also need references, detailed transcripts, CVs, project proposals, and a letter of motivation in German outlining their leadership potential. English translations are required for supporting documents.

How to Apply for the German Bundestag Scholarship

The German Bundestag Scholarship application process is highly competitive and involves:

  • May to September – Call for applications is announced for the intake of the following year. Contact the selection committee in your home country to receive application forms.
  • September to November – Submit the completed application form and all supporting documents to the selection committee by the deadline. Provide translations for documents not in German.
  • December to January – Pre-selected applicants are invited for interviews by the selection committee. The committee then nominates candidates to the German Parliament.
  • February to May – The German Parliament reviews nominees and awards scholarships. Notification is sent to successful applicants.
  • June to July – Intensive 2-month German language course takes place in Germany for scholars before studies begin.
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Act early and make sure your application is comprehensive, as there is intense competition for these prestigious scholarships.

Application Documents Checklist

Make sure you submit all required documents by the application deadline:

  • Fully completed application form
  • CV with photo
  • Project proposal for master’s or research project
  • Letter of motivation (2-3 pages in German)
  • Academic transcripts with certified translations
  • Proof of German proficiency or enrollment in the language course
  • Copy of Bachelor’s degree certificate
  • 2 confidential academic references
  • Professional/volunteer references
  • Passport copy
  • Recent health certificate

Failure to include all documentation can disqualify your application. Seek assistance from the selection committee contact in your country for guidance.

Selection Criteria

The German Bundestag Scholarship selection process is extremely competitive. Only 50 scholarships are awarded annually from a pool of over 1,000 applicants. The selection criteria include:

  • Strong academic background with outstanding grades
  • Relevant work/volunteer experience in your field of interest
  • Leadership qualities and potential for impact
  • Commitment to strengthening democracy and civil society
  • Plans to apply acquired skills to development work in the home country
  • Proficiency in the German language
  • Feasibility of proposed master’s/research project

Preference may be given to applicants whose home countries or academic backgrounds are underrepresented in the program. Female candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

Partner Universities and Institutions

Recipients of the German Bundestag Scholarship are free to pursue graduate studies at any accredited university in Germany. Over 120 universities have participated in the program.

Some of the most popular options include:

  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • University of Bonn
  • Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
  • Technical University of Munich
  • University of Cologne
  • Heidelberg University
  • Humboldt University of Berlin

Scholars can also arrange research projects at renowned institutions such as the Max Planck Institutes, Fraunhofer Institute, and more. Match your preferences to hosts offering your desired subject areas.

Fields of Study

One of the biggest advantages of the German Bundestag Scholarship is that you can customize it to align with your academic and professional interests.

Previous scholars have pursued degrees and research projects in diverse fields such as:

  • Political Science, Governance, and Law
  • Education Sciences
  • Economics and Development Studies
  • Public Health and Medicine
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Environmental Sciences and Sustainability
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Social Work and Human Rights
  • Energy Studies
  • Natural Sciences
  • International Relations and Diplomacy
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Think about current challenges in your country and choose your field intentionally. The selection committee favors applicants who demonstrate how their projects can be applied for development work back home.

Networking and Mentorship Opportunities

In addition to their academic projects, Bundestag scholars take part in networking events, policy forums, and guided political institution visits organized by the program. These activities allow young leaders to engage with professionals, parliamentarians, and experts across sectors in Germany.

Many scholars are paired with German mentors who provide one-on-one career coaching and guidance during the program. Host institutions also facilitate meetings with academics, researchers, and industry leaders aligned with the participant’s interests.

This exposure provides scholars with contacts and insights that could benefit their careers and communities at home. The connections made also form the foundation for ongoing Germany-Africa cooperation across borders.

Life in Germany as a Bundestag Scholar

Beyond the academic experience, living in Germany for up to two years provides Bundestag scholars an opportunity for personal growth and cross-cultural exchange. Learning to navigate daily life in Germany helps scholars expand their worldviews and independence.

Program participants live across Germany based on their host university or institution. Larger cities like Berlin, Frankfurt, and Munich tend to be popular locations. Housing assistance is provided, with many staying in university dorms or shared apartments.

Germany has a high standard of living, efficient public transportation systems, a rich cultural scene, and thriving industries. Scholars can immerse themselves in German society through language classes, cultural events, tours, friendships with locals, and travel across Europe on breaks from studies.

While adapting to Germany’s climate, cuisine, customs and language can be challenging at first, the experience provides lifelong learning.

Career Impact

The German Bundestag Scholarship prepares young African professionals to return home equipped with fresh knowledge, intercultural competence, expanded mindsets, and global connections. Many scholars report the program as a defining experience inspiring their career paths and setting them up for greater impact.

Alumni have gone on to:

  • Launch community development organizations and NGOs
  • Advise governments on policy reforms
  • Lead innovation in fields like healthcare and agriculture
  • Become diplomats and negotiators
  • Run for political office and seek leadership roles
  • Develop groundbreaking research and technologies
  • Champion women’s empowerment and human rights
  • Pursue doctorate degrees and academia
  • Author books sharing their experiences

The German Bundestag Scholarship continues to nurture its pan-African network of over 1,800 alumni who drive development across the continent.

Prominent Alumni

Many outstanding leaders have emerged from the German Bundestag Scholarship Program over the past decades:

  • Joyce Banda (Malawi) – President of Malawi from 2012-2014; championed education and women’s rights.
  • Fatou Bensouda (Gambia) – Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court from 2012-2021; sought justice for victims of war crimes.
  • Lindiwe Mazibuko (South Africa) – Parliamentary Leader for Democratic Alliance; pushed for accountability in government.
  • Bogolo Kenewendo (Botswana) – Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry; crafted policies to diversify Botswana’s economy.
  • Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr OBE (Sierra Leone) – Mayor of Freetown; implements data-driven urban reforms.
  • Lam Akol Ajawin (South Sudan) – Co-founder of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement; helped establish an independent South Sudan.
  • Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Ghana) – President of Ghana from 2017-present; promotes freedom, justice, and accountability.
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The program has empowered scholars who have risen to top leadership positions in governments, international organizations, civil society, and global corporations.

Application Tips

Here are some key strategies to strengthen your German Bundestag Scholarship application:

  • Start early – Give yourself plenty of time to obtain documents and draft quality essays.
  • Get organized – Keep track of all requirements and deadlines with checklists.
  • Know selection priorities – Tailor your proposal and essays to show your leadership potential, commitment to democracy, and development impact.
  • Show existing expertise – Use your CV, transcripts, and achievements to demonstrate your capabilities relevant to your proposed project.
  • Highlight networks – Having contacts in Germany can help convince the committee you can maximize the opportunity.
  • Show German dedication – Enroll in language classes early and improve your proficiency substantially before selections.
  • ChooseReferences wisely – Ask academics and professionals who know you well to tailor glowing reference letters.
  • Be bold and creative – Stand out with a unique research vision aligned to development needs at home.
  • Perfect your essays – Make sure your motivation letter and project proposal are focused, logical, and error-free.

With thorough preparation, passion, and perseverance, you can develop a winning Bundestag scholarship application.


The German Bundestag Scholarship Program for Young Africans represents one of the most empowering opportunities available for ambitious changemakers from Sub-Saharan Africa. It equips scholars with the knowledge, networks, and intercultural skills to drive positive transformation back home.

If you are committed to tackling development challenges and have a vision for your country’s future, apply for this life-altering scholarship. Work hard to craft an outstanding application showcasing your leadership aptitude, academic excellence, and development impact potential.

As a Bundestag scholar, you will join a Pan-African community of young leaders and gain access to experiences in Germany that shift your perspectives and capabilities. You will return newly equipped to create meaningful change.

So take the chance and apply to the Bundestag program. It could be the stepping stone that propels your career, sets up your success, and allows you to uplift communities across Africa for decades to come. For details visit their Official Website

Hello, my name is Joseph Samaritan and I am a blogger who writes about various topics of interest, I have a passion for learning and sharing knowledge through my blog, I welcome feedback and comments on my posts and I look forward to engaging with you, thank you for visiting my blog and I hope you enjoy reading it.


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