Scholars Program

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program envisions a transformative network of young people and institutions driving inclusive and equitable socio-economic change in Africa. Since launching in 2012, the Program has supported nearly 40,000 young people in Africa to pursue secondary or tertiary education.   

To enable Scholars, and young people across Africa to succeed, we know there is a need to address systemic barriers in higher education, strengthen capacity, support innovative solutions across critical sectors, and connect ecosystem actors together to amplify our impact across the continent.  Working together, alongside young people, universities, NGOs and other higher education stakeholders, the Program strive to create the conditions that will enable young people to attain inclusive and relevant education, transition smoothly into dignified and fulfilling work, and lead transformative lives.  

Celebrating 10 Years of the Scholars Program

In 2022, the Scholars Program is turning 10. To celebrate a decade of transformative impact and learning, join us in a series of virtual events, social conversations, documentaries and our annual summit. Together we will reflect on what we have learned and look to the next 10 years developing Africa’s youth leaders.

Learn more about Scholars@10

Information About the Scholars Program

Find out how to become a Mastercard Foundation Scholar.

Apply to the Scholars Progam

Our partners manage the recruitment and selection of Scholars for the Program.

Partner Resources for Disability Inclusion

Partner resources for disability inclusion in higher education

Scholars Program e-Learning Initiative

Find out how the initiative will deliver high-quality and inclusive online learning.

Statement of Support During COVID-19

Our commitment to the health, well-being, and education of all Mastercard Foundation Scholars.

Read more about the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program in action.

News and Updates

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program Celebrates A Decade of Developing Young Leaders

The Mastercard Foundation celebrates the decennial anniversary of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program. Launched in 2012, the Program began as a $500 million initiative to develop the next generation of leaders who would drive social and economic transformation.

Read More

Breaking Taboos and Paving the Way for a Healthier Future

Mastercard Foundation Scholars have a deep personal commitment to changing the world around them and improving the lives of their families, communities, and countries.

Find out how Derrick Tumuhairwe and Jovia Nazziwa are breaking taboos and paving the way for a healthier future in Uganda.


Read more

Social Venture Challenge

Scholars are creating positive change in their communities through social ventures.

Read about Scholar ventures addressing big challenges

Envision a World Where ...

Mastercard Foundation Scholars express their ideas for change.

Hear Scholars' visions for the world

International Women's Day

Our International Women’s Day series highlights stories from Mastercard Foundation Scholars about how gender has shaped their leadership.

Read how gender has shaped Scholars' leadership