The National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS) have formalised a prominent agreement for a joint postgraduate scholarship and exchange programme for Africa. The scholarship programme will support postgraduate students in critical fields for the continent – African Heritage; Water-Energy-Food Nexus; Smart Economy; ICT; Artificial Intelligence and Robotics; and Health. These students will directly contribute to creating a pool of young leaders committed to playing a critical role in achieving a more integrated African economy with accelerated growth generating positive outcomes that benefit all of its countries.
The programme will identify academically gifted African scholars from resource-challenged backgrounds to pursue postgraduate study in some of the best universities across the continent. Over a period of five years, MINDS will fund and support 45 Honours and Master’s scholars to study at African universities outside their country of origin, while the NRF will contribute funding for 50 Doctoral scholars from the rest of the continent based at South African universities.
During the event, the MINDS Founder and CEO, Dr Nkosana Moyo stated, “This programme will create a network of like-minded pan-African thought leaders who will help promote practical and progressive integration of the continent”.
NRF CEO, Dr Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, noted, “This partnership highlights the key role that postgraduate education plays in national systems of innovation, contributing not only to enhancing individual opportunities in a professional career, but also to a vibrant democracy, innovative economy, and a range of other societal benefits. The continent needs to invest in its demographic dividend for African youth to actively participate in the unfolding transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.”
At the NRF, the agreement will be facilitated by the Strategy, Planning and Partnerships (SPP), and Human and Infrastructure Capacity Development (HICD) directorates.