AAI Future Leaders Legacy Fund

Legacy Fund2AAI legacy fund logo low-res_horizontal

Providing scholarships and innovation to African students and universities

Young people are Africa’s greatest asset. With the world’s youngest population at 200 million-strong, investing in the next generation of African leaders will accelerate the development of the African continent.

Today, African youth between ages 14-35 make up more than 50% of the continent’s population. By 2030, they will represent 41% of the world’s youth. If offered the right prospects and opportunities to strengthen their skills and talents, African youth can transform Africa – and, indeed, the world.

Building a highly educated and skilled workforce is essential to meet local and global market demands and to give the continent a competitive edge in the global economy. Yet, only 6% of young people in sub-Saharan Africa are enrolled in higher education institutions, compared to the global average of 26%, UNESCO estimates.

The AAI Future Leaders Legacy Fund provides scholarships to bright, yet underresourced African students, who would be the first in their family to attend university, with the opportunity to study in top-performing African universities and colleges to earn bachelor’s degrees and vocational and technical training certifications. The Fund will also ensure that African universities benefit by receiving increased resources to retain and educate students.

The Legacy Fund aims to raise $2.5 million to enable 300 students to receive an excellent university education in Africa.


University Students4 webAAI Network of African University Partners: 
AAI is committed to providing an exemplary education to the Future Leaders Legacy Fund scholarship students. The Legacy Fund will screen and select the best universities that Africa has to offer to join our network.

As the Fund continues to expand, the network of universities will grow geographically throughout Africa to meet the evolving needs of the scholarship students in higher education and vocational institutions. Another goal of the fund is to improve the capacity of universities through academic exchanges, teacher training and administrative management and leadership certification.

Scholarship candidates must be accepted for enrollment at partner universities. Using the criteria set by AAI, universities will lead the selection of all Legacy Fund scholarship recipients.

The Legacy Fund’s partner institutions are:

*AAI is actively seeking new partner institutions to expand the number of higher education and technical institutions participating in the Legacy Fund network.

Select Profiles of 2015 Legacy Fund Scholars!


Why Support the Fund?

  • The cost of an excellent university education in Africa is much lower than in America and therefore AAI can impact more students with your gifts.
  • Without your gift, these under-resourced students would not have access to higher education.
  • Due to AAI’s due diligence, this centrally-managed scholarship fund makes it easier for you, the donor, to monitor and evaluate the impact of your gift
  • The power of the portfolio, both in terms of the total pooling of donations into a central philanthropic fund as well as the Fund’s network of universities sends a cohesive message about the new, positive narrative on African higher education.
  • There is a direct correlation between greater access to higher education attainment and economic development for individual countries
  • It leverages AAI’s six decades of experience and management of supporting African nationals and African institutions

Give Today! Explore the “Giving Menu” and “Naming Opportunities Menu” to learn how you can invest in the Legacy Fund. Click links to access the “Giving Menu” and “Naming Opportunities Menu”


Founding Members: Global Campaign Steering Committee

Nik AmarteifioChairman, Board of Dannex Limited

Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All

Dr. Thelma Awori, Co-founder, Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund

Dr. Ousseina Alidou, Associate Professor in the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures, and Director of the Center for African Studies, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

H.E.Nahas Angula, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Namibia

Betty Bigombe, Senior Director for Fragility, Conflict and Violence, World Bank Group

Thandika Mkandawire, Chair and Professor of African Development, London School of Economics

Dr. Tralance Addy, Chief Executive, Plebys International LLC


President Ouattara blog

“The Africa-America Institute has done a lot for many of us in Africa. I think it’s our time to share our contribution.”

Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire


Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

“You don’t need to do what my father did, and leave your home in order to get a good education and access to opportunity. Because of Kenya’s progress, because of your potential, you can build your future right here, right now.”

Barack H. Obama, President of the United States, speaking to Kenyans about his father earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees in the U.S.


Join with AAI as, together, we ensure that Africa’s greatest resource, its people, have access to places of learning and innovation in the African university system.

Donate LinkFor more information or inquiries, please contact Brian McGinley, AAI’s Development & Strategy Officer, at email, bmcginley@aaionline.org or call (212) 949-5666.


Photo credits: GovernmentZA / Foter / CC BY-ND, mark.taber / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND, K. Kendall / Foter / CC BY