Each year, students from around the world receive billions of dollars in scholarships, and Africa is not short of recipients. A good chunk of these funds are increasingly being targeted at the African girl child, who is often either underrepresented, or in fields traditionally dominated by her male counterparts.
And all for a good cause.
If Africa is to achieve societal development, women need to be empowered academically for they are a crucial player in society. However, higher academic fees coupled with meagre financial support means this is, in many cases on the continent, a tough oar to row.
But scholarships provide a beacon of hope for young women in Africa to pursue higher education and research in various fields which could otherwise have been inaccessible. Fields such as engineering, sciences, computer science and information technology, and more.
The scholarships can be used to directly fund college tuition, or go into associated ventures such as boarding fees, books and such.
Scholarships typically have eligibility criteria that must be met for one to qualify, and as long as the scholar abides by the guidelines, no repayment is required. That said, what are some of the top scholarship programs available to young African women today?
Below, we share some of the programs offered yearly; some well-known, others not so much.
Targets female students not just in Africa, but also the Middle East and Europe. The Google scholarship is keen to inspire women to excel in computing and technology, and go on to become active leaders and role models.
Scholarship comes in form of financial aid (usually in the average of $10,000 or thereabout), with all finalists and recipients invited to an annual retreat at the tech giant’s HQs in Mountain View, California.
An initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that seeks to empower, connect and offer support for the next generation of women leaders in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics).
It seeks to accomplish this by opening up opportunities and access necessary to further their careers, chase their dreams and also encourage women and girls in their communities.
The scholarship is offered to women in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.
This is a pan-African initiative of development scholarships and fellowships that funds 1,000 eligible individuals (both men and women) at the postgraduate level. Female applications are highly encouraged, with measures already established in a bid to support female applicants and awardees.
The scholarship is fully sponsored, offering complete financial backing for Masters and PhD courses, as well as short-term buy generic modafinil online professional training courses spanning an array of fields.
Eligible women are offered a chance to enroll at the New York University Wagner Institution for postgraduate and executive master studies, including a special program to help women expand their public service in their native countries.
The award takes care of tuition, travel (to and from the United States), housing, and also a small remuneration to cater for books and miscellaneous costs.
This is a leadership development program that runs for a year.
It is designed to identify, develop and promote the up-and-coming young African women leaders to achieve and make strides in leadership, not just in their community but on the continent in general.
The aim of the Working to Advance African Women Foundation is to boost the number of African women in the once male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and see to it that this talent is ploughed back to innovations on the continent.
The scholarship is accessible to needy girls enrolled in any college, university or institution of higher learning in Africa, with an annual renewal following exemplary academic performance.
The one-year scholarship courtesy of Microsoft Research is aimed at female graduate students of exceptional performance to encourage the number of women taking up PhDs.
Eligibility criteria includes applying for the scholarship during the first year of graduate studies as it supports women during their second year of graduate studies.
The MMMF funds women in developing and middle-income nations to pursue further studies and helps reinforce their professional and leadership skills so that they can go out and improve the lives of less fortunate women and children.
This scholarship only covers a fraction of the total cost needed in a given academic year.
This is an initiative that seeks to fund successful female applicants for graduate studies in the U.S. and Canada.
Maximum amount funded in a single year of study is $12,500, although this can swing up or down depending on individual need.
This program was established with the aim of bumping up the rate of women registering for and pursuing MBA programs. It accomplishes this by providing fellowships to those pursuing either part-time, full-time or executive MBA studies at sponsor business institutions.
Fellows also benefit from gaining connections to leading firms within the Forte network.