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    The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is a $500 million global education initiative that enables young people - particularly from Africa - to lead change in their communities.

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    Scholars Program partners are education institutions and non-profit organizations committed to developing the potential of talented young people.


The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program is building a global network of education institutions and non-profit organizations committed to its vision to educate young people who are committed to the betterment of their communities. This growing network will document and share best practices to identify, educate, and mentor students, and transition them into the workforce. Partners in the Program are selected for their shared values, academic excellence, nurturing environments, and programs relevant to developing countries.

To read stories and news from our partners, click here.



African Leadership Academy

African Leadership Academy is a pan-African institution that seeks to identify, develop, and connect promising young leaders who will shape Africa’s future.

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Ashesi University

Ashesi University College is a private, non-profit institution with a mission to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa.

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American University of Beirut – Faculty of Health Sciences

The vision of the Faculty of Health Sciences is to promote the health and well-being of populations through quality higher education.

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Arizona State University

Arizona State University is an institution committed to excellence, access, and impact, which pursues research that contributes to the public good.

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Camfed works to break the cycle of poverty in Africa by educating and empowering girls and young women to become leaders of change.

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BRAC Uganda is the largest NGO in Uganda, creating opportunity for the poor with poverty solutions such as microfinance, youth education and adolescent empowerment.

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Duke University

Duke University is a top-tier research institution helping to expand the frontiers of knowledge in service to society in North Carolina and around the world.

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EARTH University

EARTH University is an international, non-profit university in Costa Rica that emphasizes ethical entrepreneurship, and environmental and social commitment.

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FAWE (Forum for African Women Educationalists) is a Pan-African NGO working to empower girls and women through education.

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KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology) advances knowledge in science and technology for sustainable development in Africa.

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Makerere University

Makerere University is passionate about innovation. They view every community challenge as an opportunity to exercise their creativity. They build for the future.

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McGill University

McGill is an internationally diverse, leading Canadian post-secondary institution with a mission to advance learning through teaching, scholarship and service to society.

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Michigan State University

Michigan State University is a hub for innovation and discovery where scholars create bold solutions to the world’s most challenging problems.

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Stanford University

Stanford University is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, encouraging collaboration, innovation, creative freedom, and diversity.

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University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is a place that inspires bold new ways of thinking, making it a leader in community service learning, sustainability, and research commercialization.

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University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley is renowned for the distinction of its faculty and students, and the excellence of its research and public service.

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University of Pretoria

The University of Pretoria vision is to be a leading research-intensive university in Africa, recognised internationally for its quality, relevance and impact, and for developing people, creating knowledge and making a difference locally and globally

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University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is one of the most respected and influential institutions of higher education and advanced research in the world.

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Wellesley College

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world.

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University of Cape Town

The University of Cape Town aspires to become a premier academic meeting point between South Africa, the rest of Africa and the world. Taking advantage of expanding global networks and our distinct vantage point in Africa, the University of Cape Town is committed, through innovative research and scholarship, to grapple with the key issues of our natural and social worlds.

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Akwanya, which translates to “a path towards opportunity” in Twi, is part of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, and a collaboration between The MasterCard Foundation and African Leadership Academy. Akwanya creates higher education opportunities for academically talented, yet economically disadvantaged African students, and empowers them to make a difference in their communities. It matches Scholars to universities that fit their interests, and provides comprehensive financial, academic and social support, and access to career opportunities on the continent. Scholarships and student support in Akwanya are co-funded by The MasterCard Foundation and the following partner universities:

  • Jacobs University – Germany
  • Trinity College – USA
  • West Virginia University – USA
  • Marist College – USA
  • United States International University – Kenya
  • Quest University – Canada
  • University of Rochester – USA
  • Westminster College – USA
  • Agnes Scott College – USA
  • Africa University – Zimbabwe

More information on Akwanya