As one of the first MasterCard Scholars to graduate from Ashesi, Kpetermeni Siakor ’15 has become a role model for many students across Africa. At Commencement 2015, he was one of three students presented with the President’s “Scholarship, Leadership and Citizenship” award – the highest honour any student at Ashesi can receive - for so strongly representing Ashesi’s core values. For Kpetermeni, his time at Ashesi has made him extremely hopeful about the impact he could make in the future ahead of him.

“Ashesi has been a rewarding experience,” he explains. “I came from Liberia with expectations, after having read about Ashesi’s mission. It was a lot of what I had expected. My classmates and friends are among some of Africa’s most airborne young people, and getting to sit down and engage with some of these people has had an amazing impact on me.”

In a June 2015 blog post from The MasterCard Foundation Scholars programme website, Siakor was named as one of five scholars worldwide leading change in science, for his work in helping roll back the outbreak of Ebola in his home country. As a Scholar, he is grateful for The MasterCard Foundation’s approach to supporting development and growth in Africa, and believes it is one of the best models for empowering Africans.

(Kpetermeni's parents traveled from Liberia to Ghana to celebrate his accomplishments)

“I always ask myself who thought about this programme,” he explains. “It is one of the few efforts in Africa that are well targeted and can actually have real impact in the long-term. The MasterCard Foundation’s partnership model, where they support an organisation on an existing mission rather than teach people what to do. The potential for real, long-term impact is very high, and I am really proud to be a part of the scholar community.”

With a Computer Science degree under his belt, Siakor is headed back to Liberia to help scale up the work of iLab Liberia, a tech hub helping promote information sharing in Liberia, where he will be Director of Innovation. In his role, he will help create solutions to help increase access to technology in Liberia.

“I am grateful for my experiences and all the chances I have been given in life,” he says. “Whenever a major crisis has hit Liberia in the past, I have been out of the country, from civil wars to Ebola. I really believe that God has moved these obstacles out of my way, so that I have a clear head to learn the skills I need to make an impact back home. I feel obligated to make sure I give back; to help bring opportunities to other people in Liberia. This is the perfect time.”