The Mandela Centennial Scholarship Programme

The Mandela Centennial Scholarship Programme

African Leadership University (ALU) is proud to partner with the Graça Machel Trust and the Mandela Institute of Development Studies (MINDS) to launch the Mandela Centennial Scholarship Programme, a landmark scholarship that will celebrate the 100th birthday of one of the greatest African leaders of the last century – Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, fondly known as Madiba.

President Mandela firmly believed in the transformative power of education and its ability to bring dignity, self-actualization, and prosperity to Africans. Throughout his presidency and after, he dedicated much of his efforts to ensure that children from all walks of life had equal access to education, regardless of their economic background. The objective of the Mandela Centennial Scholars Programme is to honor President Mandela’s legacy and carry forward the important work he began in education by identifying 100 outstanding young Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend ALU. These students will benefit from a scholarship and unparalleled opportunities for leadership development.



January 2018
Public announcement of scholarship

15 May 2018
Deadline to apply for scholarship

July 2018
Public announcement of Scholars 

September 2018
Students begin studies at ALU in Kigali, Rwanda



  • Is there a scholarship application? How can I access it?

Yes. The scholarship application will be made available on the ALU Admitted Student Portal under the Finance section. Access is only granted to candidates who have applied, have been accepted to ALU and are approved for study at ALU in Rwanda.

  • Who is eligible for the scholarship?

Candidates should have approval to study at ALU in Rwanda for any degree programme, and should be an African national.

  • Do I need to be admitted to ALU to apply for the scholarship?

Yes. You will only be able to apply for the scholarship once you have been accepted to ALU and have been approved for study at the Rwanda campus.

  • What does the scholarship cover?

The scholarship covers full tuition,  travel, housing, and a stipend to cover food and other living expenses. For Rwandans living in Kigali, it will only cover tuition fees.

  • What is the application process for the scholarship?

Once admitted, eligible candidates can access and submit their application for the Mandela Centennial Scholarship on the ALU Admitted Student Portal.  Candidates for the scholarship will be required to take an Artificial Intelligence admissions simulation called Knack, and submit a 500-1000 word essay for review by the scholarship committee.

  • Can current ALC or ALU students apply?

No, the scholarship is only for students starting the first year in September 2018 at ALU.

  • Can students from previous years who deferred their start date to September 2018 apply?

Yes, deferred students who are starting their first year in September 2018 at ALU can apply.

  • Is there a deadline to apply for the scholarship?

The deadline for the scholarship application is 15 May 2018.

  • Can I defer my scholarship?

No, the scholarship is only for September 2018 start date. Recipients of the scholarship will be required to attend a leadership bootcamp starting on 3 September 2018 at ALU in Rwanda before starting their orientation week.

  • Are there any fees associated with the Mandela Centennial Scholarship Application?

There is no fee associated with applying to the programme.

  • How will the selection committee assess my application?

The Mandela Centennial Scholarship selection process strives to understand candidates as individuals and to assess them within their own academic, professional and cultural contexts. We will look at your application essay as a key tool in understanding your personal experience and approach to leadership. We want candidates to provide specific examples of their leadership that explore their abilities to understand challenges and opportunities, envision solutions, take initiative to act, inspire others to join an effort, and push through resistance and/or challenges in reaching results. The admissions simulation Knack will also be taken into consideration.

  • When will I find out if I got the scholarship?

We will be announcing scholarship recipients by 30 June 2018.


    Start Typing
    Privacy Preferences

    When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

    For performance and security reasons we use Cloudflare
    Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
    Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
    Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
    Click to enable/disable video embeds.
    Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.