The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa formally commissions its fifth Cohort of Scholars

By Brenda Odhiambo

Last week, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa formally commissioned the fifth cohort of 138 Scholars who joined the university at the beginning of the Fall semester. The Scholars are drawn from 20 African counties, with Scholars from Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Eswatini and Ethiopia represented in the Program for the first time.

In her comments, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Margee Ensign thanked the Mastercard Foundation for their partnership, noting that they were instrumental in the achievement of USIU-Africa’s mission of creating leaders of the future.

“To our students: The world is ahead of you, and we are here to support you in any way that we can to make sure that you are the future leaders of your country, of your continent and the world,” she said.

She also spoke about the overall performance of the Scholars, noting that 98% of the Scholars were in good academic standing, while 31% of Scholars were on the Dean’s list.

The event, which was the first in-person event since the inception of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at USIU-Africa, also saw 12 Scholars receive awards for their achievements. The awards recognized the best students across all the four cohorts: the most improved Scholars across all four cohorts, the best overall Scholar, a Community Service Award and an award for the Best Leader in 2022.

In her comments, the Mastercard Foundation Program Director, Ms. Linet Aguko congratulated the Scholars, noting that they exemplified the all-round excellence that was part of USIU-Africa’s core values.

“Each of you here today are an exemplification of what being a student at USIU-Africa is about. You have demonstrated that you are engaged, both amongst yourselves and your communities, and that you have learned and are applying the values of contributing to important intellectual discourse, and being independent learners who are both curious, resilient and adaptable,” she said.

The students awarded at the ceremony were Silas Ooko (top Scholar, Cohort 1), Maureen Agwona Obondo (top Scholar, Cohort 2), Mohamed Abdallah Awad (top Scholar, Cohort 3), Caroline Awuor Odenga, Delicia Queen Mumbe, Joyceline Ngum Ambe, Manjoh Lorantine Zheutikang (top Scholars, Cohort 4), Kharis Ilunga Ntanga (Most Improved Scholar, Cohort 1), Irene Mugeni (Most Improved Scholar, Cohort 2), Raba Abdurahim Hakim (Most Improved Scholar, Cohort 3), Gerald Augustino (Community Service Award, 2022), and Brian Anyika Muchesia, who was named as the Best Overall Scholar, 2022 and the Best Leader, 2022.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program recently marked 10 years of developing young leaders at the annual Baobab Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda. Over the last decade, the Mastercard Foundation has deployed $1.7 billion through the initiative to benefit nearly 40,000 young people, over 72 percent of whom are young women. To date, 18,544 young people have graduated from secondary and higher education.

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