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Mastercard Foundation partners with USIU to promote higher education in Africa


The Mastercard Foundation has partnered with USIU-Africa to provide scholarships to 1,000 high-performing students over the next 10 years. This will be facilitated by the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme.

Aside from being high performers, students eligible for this scholarship will have to be somewhat disadvantages in the sense of financial, displacement, gender or disability challenges.

An average of 70% of the people the program is looking to benefit are women, while 25% will be refugee/displaced youth, and 10% will be youth living with disabilities.

The US$ 63 million partnership sees USIU join Mastercard Foundation’s vast global network of partners. The partners are all dedicated to developing the next generation of African leaders who will use the knowledge gained to spearhead positive change and growth in their communities and in the world at large.

USIU-Africa’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul Zeleza, said, “With the support of the Mastercard Foundation, we look forward to significantly expanding the impact and reach that USIU-Africa has had all across the world, by moulding students who will catalyze Africa’s continued advancement into a better, brighter future.

Also, the Scholars Program will enhance socio-economic diversity of the student population as it will increase the number of students with a disability, refugees, young women and displaced youth to address barriers to higher education for these marginalized populations.”

He also noted that this partnership, which is expected to kick off in the 2020/2021 Academic Year, is a milestone in the instition’s history.

Speaking after the signing of the partnership, USIU-Africa’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Paul Zeleza noted that the partnership was a milestone in the University’s history.

Mastercard Foundation’s Chief Program Officer, Peter Materu, “For close to a decade, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program has worked in Africa, through initiatives like Wings to Fly and direct partnerships with educational organisations at the secondary and tertiary levels, to enable young people from disadvantaged communities to access quality learning and develop their leadership potential. Our partnership with USIU-Africa builds on this historic work, which is already serving thousands of young leaders on the continent. Fundamentally, it is about expanding opportunity to all young people, irrespective of their socio-economic background.”

He added that the foundation was excited to be partnering with USIU-Africa, as the institution has continuously provided excellent academic value, and demonstrated a commitment to equity and inclusion.

The program will also offer the scholars end-to-end support which is inclusive of, comprehensive scholarships, leadership development, and access to internships and industry-driven career services.

Mastercard’s Scholars Program has so far committed north of US$ 1 billion to supporting the education and leadership development of more than 37,000 young people.


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