Africa: Sciences Po and the Mastercard Foundation to provide 1,450 African students with scholarships over the next decade

Sciences Po has entered into a historic agreement with the Mastercard Foundation to support 1,450 students from Sub-Saharan Africa over the next 10 years, making it the most important scholarship program ever implemented at Sciences Po and in collaboration with an international non-profit organization.

By 2030, it’s estimated that 375 million young people will enter the job market in Africa looking for dignified and fulfilling work. To tackle this challenge, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, in partnership with leading universities in Africa and beyond, will support equal access to higher education for ambitious young people and prepare them to put their skills and knowledge in favour of the continent’s growth.

The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program is a scholarship and leadership development program that supports Sub-Saharan African students with a strong academic record and formidable leadership potential, including those who face systemic barriers. Since its creation, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program has supported over 45,000 bright minds across the continent and has extended its goal to bring quality education opportunities to 100,000 Scholars by 2030.

Sciences Po and the Mastercard Foundation: Six Years of Impact

Sciences Po, with its equal opportunity policy, is actively involved in cooperation with partner universities to bring increased access to higher education to more students on the continent.

Sciences Po joined the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program six years ago, enabling 20 African countries to access a world-class social science education. The students graduated with 30 master’s degrees in Public Policy, Finance and Strategy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Action, International Development, and Environmental Policy, among others. Most currently hold job positions within Africa and beyond in organizations such as McKinsey Kenya, Dalberg Ghana, Technopolis Group in Côte d’Ivoire, DOB Equity Group Kenya, and the Minister’s Office of Benin.

Beyond academics, impact is also one of the core values of the Scholars Program. As Sciences Po invites every student to understand their time and make a difference in every global challenge of our societies, Mastercard Foundation Scholars are encouraged to develop their management and entrepreneurial skills through impactful projects in various local African communities.

Since 2017, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Sciences Po has supported more than 10 projects launched by Scholars, including Menya Accelerator (supporting entrepreneurship in Burundi), Kilimo Sasa (supporting sustainable agriculture for farmers and vulnerable households in Kenya), and the Arewa Child Initiative in Nigeria (raising awareness about children’s rights and the importance of education, especially for girls, which has reached more than 370 children and 200 community stakeholders).

Additionally, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars and Alumni built a strong network of young transformative leaders who can support and encourage one another to thrive. Aminatou Seydou from Niger, who graduated with a master’s in International Development, described the Scholars community as “a source of invaluable connections, mentorship, and shared experiences that transcend borders and backgrounds, reminding us of the global perspective we all carry.”

Their success stories and strong commitment to driving positive change on the African continent and globally will undoubtedly inspire the next generation of Scholars at Sciences Po.

2024-2033: New Ambitious Goals

Over the next 10 years, with the same ambition of breaking down barriers to quality education, the partnership between the Mastercard Foundation and Sciences Po will go even further in its second phase. The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Sciences Po aims to reach a total of 1,450 young Africans through different opportunities:

  • Scholars from Anglophone and Francophone African countries at Sciences Po will obtain master’s degrees from the full academic offering of our seven graduate schools, ensuring that young people and professionals from marginalized communities have access to high-quality, transformative educational opportunities.
  • The Mastercard Foundation Alumni Network working in public service and governance will attend Executive Masters: Politiques et Management du développement potentiel Afrique.
  • With career events dedicated to careers in Africa hosted online or on the continent, the Scholars Program at Sciences Po will help students be aware of the relevant career and networking opportunities on the continent.
  • Sciences Po will expand its academic horizons, providing transformative leadership training and networking opportunities to other Scholars from the Mastercard Foundation’s partner network by inviting them to attend the Sciences Po Summer School University Programme. Through tailor-made short programmes co-designed with partner universities from the Mastercard Foundation’s partner network to provide academic expansion and reinforcement opportunities (online or on partner institution campuses), the transition of undergraduate Mastercard Foundation Scholars to further education will be improved.
  • A new offer of foundational programmes will be developed to provide customized reinforcement opportunities to undergraduates who are refugees, displaced youth, and youth with disabilities to help them acquire the skills to pursue graduate education at Sciences Po or other high-level universities.

You can be next! Join the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Sciences Po.

All information about the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at Sciences Po is available:


Learn more about the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

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