Africa-Press – Angola. The MasterCard Foundation, which celebrates the ten-year anniversary of the institution’s Scholarship Program, has trained more than 40,000 talented young people and leaders of African organizations.
The project launched in 2012, in a US$500 million initiative, aims to develop the next generation of leaders who would drive social and economic transformation.
The program identifies talented young people from economically disadvantaged and hard-to-reach communities, primarily in Africa, and supports secondary and higher education as well as leadership development.
Initially, the program aimed to serve 15,000 young people. But over the past decade, the MasterCard Foundation has disbursed $1.7 billion through the initiative to benefit about 40,000 people.
A statement from the Foundation reports that around 72 percent of the 40,000 beneficiaries are women. So far, 18,544 young people have completed secondary and higher education in various subjects, with emphasis on Environment and Health.
Through a network of partners, the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program enables thousands of young people with merit to access quality education and develop as leaders who give back to their communities and help improve the lives of others.
“MasterCard Foundation Fellows and Alumni are leaders and innovators, activists and entrepreneurs; addressing everything from climate change to health inequality,” the statement said.
“Their collective impact will be felt for generations to come,” said Reeta Roy, president and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation.
According to a 2020/2021 survey of a sample of Program alumni, 87% of high school graduates and 71% of university graduates are employed, having become entrepreneurs and have collectively created more than 16,000 jobs.
Additionally, 40% of college graduates say they support their siblings’ education. But, he stressed that MasterCard Foundation grantees express a strong commitment to giving back to their communities, which is a fundamental principle of the program.
The Mastercard Foundation Scholarship Program started with a strong emphasis on secondary education, in collaboration with partners such as the Forum for African Educators (FAWE), African Leadership Academy (ALA), Equity Group Foundation, among others.
More women benefited
As more African countries adopt free secondary education policies, the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program has focused its attention on higher education, where higher education enrollment rates across the continent remain low.
The MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program has grown into a network of over 40 pan-African and global partners working together to drive inclusion in education. African organizations represent more than 45% of this network.
Over the next ten years, the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program will double its reach to support a total of 100,000 young people, 70% of whom will be young women. It will also pay more attention to the inclusion of disabled and forcibly displaced youth.