Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Devised collaboratively by ALA and The Mastercard Foundation, the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program at the African Leadership Academy (MCFSP-ALA) initiative was established under the umbrella of The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program in 2012.

This initiative, built around the example of multiple successful college transition and support organizations, spearheads a new approach to scholarship implementation. MCFSP-ALA employs a “matching model,” recruiting Scholars from reputable organizations on the African continent and matching them with suitable partner universities. The model is designed to prepare scholars from disadvantaged backgrounds to create social and economic change in Africa by connecting promising young leaders to outstanding universities, and offering sustained and holistic support throughout their tertiary education and beyond.

By establishing relationships with recruitment organizations such as secondary schools and education-focused NGOs, our model identifies low-income, high-achieving sub-Saharan African students by asking those partners to nominate applicants. Following the nomination, the MCFSP selection committee undertakes a rigorous selection process that includes an analysis of previous academic performance, written applications, recommendations, and interviews. The committee then matches selected scholars to university partners that best fit their academic, personal, and professional goals.

To date, MCFSP supports over 160 scholars enrolled at 13 partner universities in Africa, Europe and North America with another 45 entering the program in July 2018. We recruit these students from twelve recruitment partners located across sub-Saharan Africa.


If you are interested in learning more about the program, becoming a recruitment partner or a university partner, please contact us at MCFALA@africanleadershipacademy.org.