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Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program

The Japan Africa Dream Scholarship (JADS) Program is a capacity building project which was initiated in 2017 by the African Development Bank and Japan to award two-year scholarships to high-achieving African students to pursue post-graduate studies at master’s level in priority development areas on the continent and in Japan.

The overarching goal of the African Development Bank and the Government of Japan is to enhance skills and human resources in Africa, in keeping with the Bank’s High 5 strategic priorities, namely Feed Africa, Light Up and Power Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life of the People of Africa. These priorities are also in line with key Japanese development assistance initiatives.

The core areas of study of the Japan Africa Dream Scholarship include energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, and engineering. The program also seeks to promote inter-university collaboration and university-industry partnerships between Japan and Africa. Upon completion of their studies, the scholars are expected to return to their home countries to apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills in the public and private sectors, and contribute to national and continental socio-economic development.

About the JADS program

The JADS Program is open to applicants from regional member countries of the African Development Bank, with relevant professional experience and a history of supporting their countries’ development efforts. Candidates should apply to a graduate degree program in energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, engineering and a related discipline.

The scholarship program provides tuition, a monthly stipend, round-trip airfare, health insurance, and travel allowance.

Who is Eligible to Apply?

The program is open to those who have gained admission to a master’s degree course at a Japanese partner university. Candidates must have an excellent academic record and should be 35 years old or younger; in good health; with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in energy, agriculture, health, environmental sustainability, engineering or a related area.

Applicants living or working in a country other than their home country are not eligible for scholarships.

JADS does not support applicants who are already enrolled in graduate degree programs.

Applicants must not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of all types of appointments of the African Development Bank Group or a close relative of the aforementioned by blood or adoption. The term "close relative" is defined as mother, father, sister, half-sister, brother, half-brother, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.

*Please note: All eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to unless otherwise communicated. Eligibility criteria will not change during an open call for applications. However, this information is subject to change between the close of one application process and the opening of the next.


The University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Frontier Sciences

Master of International Studies

Master of Environmental Studies

Master of Sustainability Science

Sophia University

Green Science and Engineering

Global Environmental Studies

Kyoto University

International Energy Science Course (IESC)

International Graduate Program for East Asia Sustainable Economic Development Studies (EA Program)

Special Course in Agricultural Science - For the Global Future of Life, Food and the Environment

Global Frontier in Life Science

International Environmental Management Program

Hiroshima University

Master Program in the fields of Energy Engineering

Master Program in the fields of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering

Kogakuin University

Electrical Engineering and Electronics Program

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Master of Science (International Cooperation Policy) - Sustainability Science (SS)

Master of Science (International Cooperation Policy) - Development Economics (DE)

Master of Science (International Cooperation Policy) - International Public Administration (IPA)

Master of Business Administration

Selection Process

The JADS program uses the following four factors to review eligible scholarship applications, with the aim of identifying the candidates with the highest potential, after completion of their graduate studies, to impact the development of their countries.

  • Strength of Education Background

  • Strength of Professional Recommendations

  • Strength of Professional Experience

  • Strength of Commitment to your Home Country

  • Strength of Statement of Purpose

JADS awards scholarships to applicants who have had at least 1 year of paid employment in the applicant’s home country or in other African countries after receiving the first Bachelors (or equivalent university) degree within the past 3 years.

The JADS Secretariat uses the following criteria to select the finalists:

  • Maintaining a reasonably wide geographical distribution of awards that takes into account the geographic distribution of eligible applications;

  • Maintaining a reasonable distribution of awards that takes into account the distribution of eligible applications across gender;

  • Giving scholarships to those applicants who, other things being equal, appear to have limited financial resources;

  • Unusual circumstances/hardships, when assessing the employment experience and other aspects of an application.

The JADS Secretariat presents the finalists to the African Development Bank’s Executive Director for Japan for approval on a rolling basis, matching the JADS partner universities admission cycle. The Secretariat informs the scholarship winners soon after approval.

Scholarship benefits

The JADS Scholarship provides the recipient with the following benefits:

  • Economy class air travel between a recipient’s home country and the host university at the start of the study program and immediately following the end of the scholarship period.

  • Tuition for a graduate program and the cost of basic medical insurance, usually obtained through the university.

  • A monthly subsistence allowance to cover living expenses, including books.

  • For scholars engaged in research, a special grant may be available for research and thesis preparation. In special circumstances, computer literacy, preparatory language and other similar courses may be covered under the scholarship. Please note that all JADS scholarships cover the duration of the graduate program or two years at most.

The JADS Scholarship does not cover:

  • VISA application(s) costs

  • Expenses to bring and/or support a scholar's family members;

  • Extra-curricular courses or training;

  • Language training not provided by the graduate program;

  • Additional travel during the course of the study program;

  • Expenses related to supplementary educational materials, field trips, participation in workshops/seminars, or internships; or

  • Educational equipment such as computers.

Note: The JADS Scholarship may only supplement, and does not duplicate, any other source of financial support/fellowship you might have. If selected as a finalist or if you are awarded a scholarship, you must inform the JADS Secretariat if you have other sources of financial support. The JADS stipend may be withdrawn completely or partially if during the scholarship period the program has evidence of additional sources of support.

Application Procedures

  • Request information and application forms and procedures from the chosen JADS partner university.

  • Submit the completed documents to the university.

  • University evaluates and selects applicants.

  • University sends selected candidates to the African Development Bank.

  • African Development Bank reviews submissions from universities, prepares and approves the final list.

  • African Development Bank contacts selected awardees and informs the universities.

How students can prepare for their application

  • Read information posted on the scholarship website and review eligibility criteria carefully.

  • Begin gathering required documentation for the scholarship application, including: your current curriculum vitae, proof of employment for each position since earning a Bachelor’s degree, and the certificate of your most advanced university degree earned.

  • Identify two professional references.

  • Prepare your research plan and proposal

  • Identify two professional references.

  • Take TOEFL iBT, TOEC test for English proficiency.

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