Johannesburg — Today, July 18, the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) in partnership with Graça Machel Trust (GMT) and the Africa Leadership University (ALU) will announce the 100 pan-African scholars who will be the first recipients of the Mandela Centennial Scholarship Programme.
The scholarships seek to celebrate what Nelson Mandela stood for as a leader by nurturing the next generation of influential Africans. Speaking on the scholarship programme Mrs Machel said:
"This scholarship is special because it celebrates Madiba's birthday. The best way to celebrate him is to plant seeds of ethical, vigorous, and committed leadership to our countries and the world. Today marks the successful start of a campaign to provide hundreds of young Africans with a chance to study at prestigious African universities like ALU, Makerere, UCT, Strathmore and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology."
Beneficiaries of the scholarship will come from 30 countries across the African continent and will be made up of 50 men and 50 women. The package will cover full tuition, accommodation, and upkeep to undertake studies at the Africa Leadership University in Rwanda.
Ian Mashingaidze, the Programme Director at MINDS said:
"Inspired by the Mandela 100 years celebration, we are enrolling the first 100 young Africans, men and women who will step on the shoulders of the giants of liberation for freedom. They will become the leaders of the next 100 years for economic and social emancipation of African nations and societies. We believe that our continent is on the verge of a second liberation, a movement for economic and social transformation to create the Africa we want. African universities are still a fertile ground for the development of Pan-African leaders with a common vision."
Beyond the academic experience, the scholars will be exposed to exchange programs, leadership development initiatives, and post-graduation lifelong networking opportunities. There will also be efforts to link these beneficiaries to employment opportunities through partnerships with the private sector. It is hoped that by placing them in Rwanda, they will draw inspiration from the exceptional progress the country has made over the last 20 years and seek to replicate it across the continent.