Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) has announced the inaugural recipients of the AIG scholarships, the organisationâ€™s fully funded scholarships programme.
Five scholarships are made available by AIG every year to outstanding West Africans from all backgrounds who are passionate about the public sector, to pursue a Masterâ€™s of Public Policy degree at the Blavatnik School of Government (BSG), University of Oxford, said the management of AIG in a statement at the weekend.
Upon graduation, AIG scholars will be expected to return to their home countries and apply their learning experience as change agents in their countriesâ€™ public sectors.
For 2017, the opening year of the scholarships, AIG elected to fund an additional scholarship, bringing the total number of AIG scholarships awarded for this year to six.
Unveiling the recipients, AIG said they are Emokiniovo Akpughe (Nigeria), Efosa Trevor Edobor (Nigeria), Abdul-Fatawu Z. Hakeem (Ghana), Chukwunonso Iheoma (Nigeria), Oluwapelumi Simpson (Nigeria) and Emmanuel Taiwo (Nigeria).
â€œWe are pleased to support our six AIG scholars in their aspiration to acquire the skills and experience that will enable them elevate their capabilities and contribute meaningfully to the development of their nations,â€ said Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, AIG Founder and Chairman. â€œThese outstanding, young Africans will return home after their studies as high-performing public servants.â€
In June 2016, AIG signed a partnership with the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford, based on a shared vision of improving the world through good governance and public leadership.
Under the partnership, AIG will fund five scholarships for graduate study at BSG over the next five years.
â€œAIGâ€™s vision is to be a catalyst for public sector transformation – we work with governments, academic institutions and other partners in order to achieve this goal,â€ said Ms. Chienye Ogwo, Chief Executive Officer of AIG.
â€œWe believe that real economic growth in Africa can only be sustained on the backbone of a dynamic and vigorous public sector. Enhancing competencies, therefore, is an indispensable lever for the achievement of this transformation.â€
â€œAs a young person intending to help transform my country, I believe that excellence in public service is the way to go,â€ said Mr. Emmanuel Taiwo, a first class Geography graduate of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, and one of the 2017 AIG scholars.
â€œStudying at the University of Oxford promises to be a life-changing experience for me and positions me to serve my country in a vital policy advisory capacity,â€ he added.
AIG will also today announce the opening of the application window for the 2018-2019 AIG scholarships. The application window will closeÂ October 2, 2017.
AIG works with governments, academic institutions and other partners to improve governance and transform public sector performance.
AIGâ€™s pioneering initiative connects proven private sector innovation, leadership and funding to an amenable public sector in a private-public partnership that seeks to attract, inspire and support future leaders of Africaâ€™s public sector.
With AIGâ€™s continuing support, these high-calibre individuals will be able to drive best practice standards of governance in Africa, ensuring sustainable economic growth and social justice.