A Kenyan student is one of two African students who have won the first ever tertiary scholarship at the African Leadership Academy, a world class Pan-African Secondary School in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The coveted Africa Leadership Academy admits students from across the 54 African countries, mainly those who show qualities of becoming future leaders.
It offers a two year course in African Studies, effective leadership and entrepreneurship to both boys and girls aged between 16 and 19 years.
This is the first time that Colgate-Palmolive which has been running a bursary program at the institution is awarding bursaries for University education.
Tom Obiri, 19, who is in his second year at the African Leadership Academy pursuing Leadership and Entrepreneurship, is expected to join one of the top African universities after he graduates from the academy later this year.
Colgate-Palmolive General Manager East- West Africa Scott Geldart points out that it is only through investing in Africa’s young population that the continent can propel itself to economic prosperity.
“These applicants are not simply top scholars; they are individuals who have demonstrated the potential for entrepreneurial leadership,” Geldart said.
With 85 percent of the student population at the academy requiring full scholarship, this was a very competitive win for Obiri.
“By investing in University scholarships, Colgate -Palmolive will ensure disadvantaged circumstances do not prevent Africa’s future leaders from realizing their full potential,” Geldart added.
A full year scholarship for an individual student amounts to $25,000 (approximately Sh2million) and covers all expenses including tuition, boarding meals, examination fees, uniform and travel.
“My passion for creating positive impact in the business and health sectors in African slums while studying compels me to attend an African college. Studying in Africa will give me the chance to get first-hand knowledge of these challenges facing the continent and explore the available opportunities in solving these problems,” Odiri said upon receiving news that he had been awarded with the scholarship.
The second winner of the Tertiary education bursary is Anna Hope Kabongo Tshibwabwa from Democratic Republic of Congo while Priscilla Takondawa Semphere from Malawi and Yesubet Melese Dereje from Ethiopia received bursary for their final year at the African Leadership Academy.
The Colgate- Palmolive Future Leaders Program is a unique one that creates an inflection point in the lives of promising young leaders.
The program provides students with hands-on training in leadership, entrepreneurship and management, preparing them to pursue leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities on the continent.
With this they are expected to transform from just having a positive impact on their communities to entrepreneurial leaders having widespread positive change across the continent.
“Each year the African Leadership Academy together with Colgate- Palmolive elects two of the bright students at the academy to benefit from the Colgate- Palmolive Future Leaders Program winning a bursary for their final year of study at the academy. This year we have extended it to fund two other students for their Tertiary education,” Geldart said.