1 Million Scholarships for African Youths by 2030


The International Open University (IOU) seeks to provide 1 million scholarships to impoverished and disenfranchised youths, who are currently being drawn into extremist groups like Boko Haram, Shabaab, Taliban, ISIS and Abu Sayyaaf. By offering an education to both males and females, IOU can uplift them to create a tangible and positive change in the continent as well as in the course of world history.


At the beginning of 2012, the world population surpassed 7 billion, with 1.1 billion people living in Africa. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa have the youngest proportion of population in the world, with over 70% of the region’s population aged below 30. (Source: The World’s Youngest Populations, 2012) Today, only 6% of sub-Saharan youth are enrolled in higher educational institutions compared to the global average of 26%.

ProjectCountries in Africa in the IOU Scholarship Program

The 1 Million Scholarships Project will provide students from English Speaking African countries with a 4-year Bachelor’s degree. These countries include Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


Students can choose from Bachelor programs in Education, Psychology, Islamic Banking and Finance, Information Technology, Business Administration, Islamic Studies or Arabic. All acquired knowledge courses are taught from an Islamic moral perspective. Students will graduate as upstanding citizens of their various countries, capable of instituting real change in their future direction. IOU will soon offer Bachelor degrees in Mass Communications, Public Health, and Agricultural Economics as well.


The International Open University (IOU) is currently able to handle 2 Million students at one time. However, the project will be rolled out in stages in order for the local on-the-ground infrastructure to gradually be developed to handle the increasing numbers per annum.

The Plan

Starting in 2017, we plan to educate 100 students from each of the 10 countries. In the following years, we plan to multiply the number of students by ten times the previous year, untill we reach our goal of 100 thousand students per country by 2020 or beyond.

2017 1,000
2018 10,000
2019 100,000
2020 1,000,000

The Cost

The cost of a 4-year degree is only $560 per student and a portion of this cost will go towards the setup and running of IOU learning centers in each country.

2017 1,000 $560,000
2018 10,000 $5,600,000
2019 100,000 $56,000,000
2020 1,000,000 $560,000,000


IOU has provided scholarships in Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, with 122 scholarships in the Fall 2017 semester and 243 scholarships in the Spring 2018 semester. We are also launching soon in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa, Al hamdullillah. In 2019, we published a report containing further details of what has been achieved so far.


There are many challenges in Africa, where most students do not have computers, electricity is erratic and the internet is expensive. The problem is being solved with the setup of IOU learning centers fitted with computer labs and internet connectivity that is facilitated through collaboration with the governments, NGOs, and other charitable organizations.

Custom Amount