Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide that also result in long-term disability. Endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) within subventricular (SVZ) and dentate gyrus (DG) zone, stimulated by cerebral infarction, can promote neural function recovery. However, the proliferation of eNSPCs triggered by ischemia is not enough to induce neural repair, which may contribute to the permanent disability in stroke patients. In this study, our results showed that following the treatment with artesunate (ART, 150 mg/kg), the functional recovery was significantly improved, the infarct volume was notably reduced, and the expression of Nestin, a proliferation marker of NSPCs in the infarcted cortex, was also increased. Additionally, the proliferative activity of NSPCs with or without oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion was significantly promoted by ART treatment, and the therapeutic concentration was 0.8 μmol/L (without OGD/R) or 0.4 μmol/L (with OGD/R) in the in vitro model. Furthermore, the effects of ART can be abolished by the treatment of PI3K inhibitor wortmannin. The expression levels of related molecules in PI3K/Akt/FOXO-3a/p27kip1 signaling pathway (p-AKT, p-FOXO-3a, p27kip1) were examined using western blotting. The results suggested ART could inhibit the transcriptional function of FOXO-3a by inducing its phosphorylation, subsequently downregulating p27kip1 and enhancing neural stem cell proliferation in the infarcted cortex via PI3K/AKT signaling, further alleviating ischemia-reperfusion injury after ischemic stroke.