The Inter-African Universities Scholarship Programme (INTERAF)

The Inter-African Universities Scholarship Programme (INTERAF) was the first major program activity of the Association of African Universities. In April 1969 the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a US$9.5 million grant agreement with the AAU to implement the INTERAF and this project trained over 1,500 high-level manpower in African universities. In the first five years of the programme the bulk of the scholarship funds were provided through USAID and additional funds were also provided by the United Kingdom Ministry of Overseas Development (ODM), and other funders later. African Governments also contributed in a substantial way, directly, by paying the travel costs of each student that they nominated for study from their countries, and indirectly through subsidies and subventions to their universities. Most Francophone Universities did not charge tuition fees; and the various fees charged by almost all participating Universities were by no means economic. The Programme had three main objectives, namely,

  1. to encourage the exchange of students between African countries and thereby promote better mutual understanding and African Unity;
  2. to help African Universities extend their international dimensions and to make the most efficient use of their facilities for human resources development in Africa;
  3. and to contribute to the growing pool of University-trained manpower in fields of study most important for the development of African countries.

Some of the notable INTERAF beneficiaries include the late Professor George A.O. Magoha who was a Professor of Surgery & Consultant Urologist at the University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences. He served as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi and also as the President and Member of the Governing Board of the AAU. Prior to his death he was the Secretary for Education in Kenya. Prof Magoha benefited from the Inter-African Universities Scholarship Program in 1973.

Download the INTERAF Final Report: