Berekuso, Ghana, November 18, 2016 – Ashesi University College’s commitment to educating Africa’s next generation of ethical leaders was bolstered today with an additional $25.5 million commitment from The MasterCard Foundation. What was initially envisioned as a commitment to support the education of 200 bright young African leaders as part of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program has been expanded to include an additional 240 students.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program provides quality secondary and university education to under-resourced but talented young people living in Africa who have shown leadership potential and a commitment to giving back to their communities. In 2012, Ashesi was one of the three founding universities joining the Scholars Program network, receiving $13 million in scholarship funding to support the education of 200 bright young African next-generation leaders. In June of 2016, the first class of MasterCard Foundation Scholars at Ashesi celebrated their graduation, with 70 percent of the class having found job placements even before graduation.
“If an educational system does not challenge you to think differently and critically, and push you out of your comfort zone then you have not been educated," says Dorcas Amoh-Mensah, a member of the 2016 graduating class, who is now pursuing a post-graduate degree as a MasterCard Foundation Scholar at the University of Edinburgh (UK).
While at Ashesi, Dorcas helped lead several community initiatives, mostly focused on providing support for children and other vulnerable groups, and as head of the student government’s welfare committee. She was also part of an Ashesi team that won Best Delegation at the Oxford-Harvard Model African Union Conference in London, and was an intern at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. "This is what Ashesi exposed me to. I realized there is hope for the continent if many students are educated this way," continues Dorcas.
“As the first African partner institution to join the Scholars Program, Ashesi University College has created a path for other universities following in their footsteps,” says Shona Bezanson, Senior Program Manager of Education and Learning at The MasterCard Foundation. “Ashesi has not only made great contributions in the development of Scholars to be ethical leaders, but has also made important strides in shaping the Scholars Program as a whole. We look forward to seeing how Scholars in the Program at Ashesi will further advance their communities and countries.”
Students who receive the scholarship award will be able to pursue any of Ashesi’s six current degrees – Business Administration, Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Computer Engineering, Electrical or Electronic Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. In addition, participating students will receive skills training, leadership development, mentoring and transition support. Ashesi will also lead the creation of a network of African-based leaders, mentors and change-makers to support other Scholars returning home from studies outside the continent.
About Ashesi University College
Ashesi University College, is a private liberal arts and science university based in Ghana. Its mission is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa, the university is recognised as one of the best in Africa. Started in 2002, the University has grown from 30 students to over 1,600 students and alumni, representing more than 20 African countries. Driven by a belief that Africa’s future will depend on enlightened leadership, Ashesi focuses on training such leaders through a 4-year program designed to foster ethics, concern for others, critical thinking and action. To learn more about Ashesi, visit www.ashesi.edu.gh.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.mastercardfdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.
For more information:
Ebenezer G. Buckman
Development & External Relations,
Ashesi University College,
(t) (+233) 0302 610 330 Ext: 1064
The MasterCard Foundation
Manager, Media Relations