KAMPALA – It was a cheerful moment when Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, the Vice Chancellor, Makerere University, handed over MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Award letters to 432 cohort five (5) scholars.
In 2014, Makerere entered a partnership with Mastercard Foundation to offer scholarships to 1,000 academically bright but economically disadvantaged youth from Africa to study at Makerere University from 2013 to 2023.
The worth US $ 20,989,965.15 project is being implemented by Planning and Development Directorate (PDD) with the aim of developing the next generation of African leaders and also promoting the strategic objectives of Makerere University and MasterCard Foundation of contributing to Africa’s higher education sector and development.
The 1st Cohort that started in academic year 2014/2015 comprised 49 students and the number has been multiplying at each intake.
Addressing scholars at the Scholarship Award Ceremony in the Makerere, Central Teaching Facility 2, the Vice Chancellor welcomed students to Makerere University and equally congratulated them upon successfully attaining the MasterCard Foundation scholarship.
He advised scholars to effectively utilize the opportunity provided to them by MasterCard Foundation and Makerere University to transform not only their lives but also their societies.
“Your path as a future leader starts right here, engaging in constructive intellectual debates, leadership activities, research and innovations. If you stay on this path, we have no doubt that on graduation day you will stand tall and pride in yourself, as a model citizen ready to develop life impacting innovations and solutions that can change your community,” he advised.
Prof. Nawangwe emphasized the need for academic excellence and advised the scholars to effectively utilize the resources and student support services provided under the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme to excel in their academics.
“Do not be marginalized because of your background but instead work hard, acquire good grades and leave the university with the best degree,” he said.
Dr. Justine J. Namaalwa, the Project Coordinator at Makerere said that the Selection Committees received 4,700 applications for the available limited slots.
“It was a challenging task but you performed it to your best. This year, we awarded a total of 432 scholarships, of which 94percent are Ugandans and 6 percent are international students from Burundi, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Cameroon,” said Dr. Namaalwa.
The Chairperson of Selection Committee Prof. Aaron Mushengyezi applauded his team for its professionalism, integrity and honesty throughout the entire process.
To the scholars, Prof. Mushengyezi said, “this is a new chapter presented before you. You have gone through a lot to acquire this scholarship. This is the right time to start building your dream and career, therefore I inspire you to work hard to achieve a bright future.”
The Principal Public Relations Officer Ms. Ritah Namisango applauded Mastercard Foundation for instilling a give back culture among scholars.
She called upon the scholars to fully engage in the university give back activities such as the Makerere University Endowment Fund Run that will be held on 15th September 2019 that is geared towards the construction of the students Centre.
Munduru Pretty, a MasterCard scholar in the 4th cohort, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree of Developmental Economics at Makerere University thanked MasterCard for the great opportunity that saved her from getting married at an early stage due to lack of finances for her education after senior six.
She urged fellow scholars to commit themselves towards achieving their goals since the scholarship is a big step towards their future.