ABE Initiative SDGs Global Leader Masters and Ph.D. Scholarship Program 2021 for young African Leaders (Fully Funded to Japan)

Application Deadline: 9 October, 2020

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the commencement of the ABE Initiative at the Fifth Tokyo Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in Yokohama, Japan, in 2013. The ABE Initiative aims to develop human resources in both public and private sectors. More than 1,400 participants from all the 54 countries have joined the program since 2014 The program has provided African youths with opportunities to study at Japanese universities and to work at Japanese enterprises.

Eligible Applicants:

The ABE Initiative aims at fostering leaders with proven ability to contribute towards Africa’s development in collaboration with the Japanese private sector. JICA is looking for prominent young South African nationals who are or anticipating to be involved in industrial development activities in both public and private sectors, and who have strong motivation to strengthen economic ties between South Africa and Japan.

Duration of Programme:

September 2021 – August 2024

Up to two and half years will be allocated for a Master’s Degree.


Applicants must:

  • Be citizens of South Africa
  • Be less than 40 (as of 1 April 2021)
  • Have some work experience
  • Have good health condition, both physically and mentally, to complete the program
  • Bachelor’s degree (B-Tech included) with honours or equivalent to NQF8 or above
  • Minimum average of 65% score in academic transcript Have good understanding of the ABE Initiative’s objectives
  • Have adequate English skills in both written and oral communication

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Global Leader Program (for 2021)


The SDGs Global Leader Program aims to capacitate young or mid-career human resources who are contributing towards addressing challenges faced in various fields through strengthening the collaboration between Africa and Japan, and through the implementation of political strategic decision-making and implementation.

Eligible Applicants:

Prospective applicants should ideally be middle-management government officials or academics who wish to be involved in policy formulation, political and development issues, and who are passionate about making a difference in public policy administration and economics.

Furthermore, participants of the programme may wish to participate in “Additional Programmes” which allow for participation to networking fairs with Japanese enterprises and internship opportunities. Participants are also encouraged to participate in the Japan Development Studies Programme (JICA-DSP), which provides knowledge on Japan’s modernisation, World War II, and development experiences.

Duration of Programme:

September 2021 – August 2024

Two years will be allocated for a Master’s Degree, and three years for a Ph.D. (depending on university offering).


Applicants must:

  • Be less than 40 (before 1 April 2021)
  • Must hold a Bachelor’s degree (B-Tech included) with honours or equivalent to NQF8 and average of 65% in academic transcripts for Master’s Degree
  • Must hold Master degree (NQF9) and minimum average of 65% in academic transcripts for Doctor’s Degree
  • Have more than six months working experience in the current organization


.xpenses to Be Borne / Not to Be Borne by JICA
JICA will provide the following expenses for participant of the program that is equivalent
to similar JICA schemes.

  • Tuition at Japanese university Master’s Degree (Doctor’s Degree included in case of
    SDGs Program) programs (and research student).
  • Allowances for living expenses, outfit, shipping etc. See the box below for more details.
  • A round-trip airfare
    Other costs should be covered by the participants’ organizations or other individuals

Email marked PDF files of application documents (Less than 4MB in a mail) and submit the original documents to the following address:

ABE Program

Japan International Cooperation Agency
JICA South Africa Office
Lord Charles Office Block, Building B, 1st Floor 337
Brooklyn Street, Brooklyn, Pretoria 0081
P.O.Box 14068, Hatfield, 0028
Republic of South Africa

* No late application will be accepted.

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the ABE Initiative SDGs Global Leader Masters and Ph.D. Scholarship Program 2021


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