Speaking at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 15, Yale University President Peter Salovey announced an expanded opportunity for emerging leaders in Africa to pursue an MBA education at Yale. The Yale School of Management will dedicate two scholarships in its full-time MBA program for students from the continent who intend to return and contribute to economic growth in their nations and communities.
“This initiative is part of a broad commitment across the university to build on our longstanding relationships in Africa,” said President Salovey. “Yale, our partner institutions, and even the world benefit immensely from our collaborations with people and organizations on the continent.”
The Yale-Africa Impact Scholarships will be awarded based on merit to the candidates most likely to advance Yale SOM’s mission to educate leaders for business and society. The scholarships will provide funding for at least half of the tuition for the full-time MBA program (approximately $70,000–$140,000 USD over two years). Within two years of graduation from Yale, Impact Scholars are expected to return to Africa to work for at least two years in a professional role that contributes to the continent’s development.
To be considered, prospective students from Africa must apply and be admitted to Yale SOM’s full-time MBA program. Once admitted, scholarship decisions will be decided based on the competitiveness of the applicants. No additional application is needed. These scholarships will be in addition to the school’s existing partnership with the Harambe Entrepreneurship Alliance, which provides a full-tuition scholarship to one outstanding African entrepreneur.
“We’re excited to strengthen our ties with the continent of Africa,” said Acting Dean Anjani Jain. “Yale SOM’s mission-driven approach to leadership, as well as our global reach and close bonds with our home university, make this program the ideal launching pad for young professionals who want to create economic value and new opportunities for those around them.”
The school’s increased commitment to Africa builds on its existing connections to the continent. Thirty-two students from Africa are currently enrolled in the Yale SOM’s various degree programs, and the school’s Africa Business Club serves as an hub for students with connections to Africa.
A number of academic pursuits regularly bring Yale SOM students to different regions in Africa. Through a 2018 course, called “Design as Utility,” students researched the water shortage in Cape Town, South Africa, and traveled to Cape Town this week to work with local organizations working on solutions to the crisis. First year students have traveled to a number of countries in Africa through the International Experience course since its inception in 2007, including Egypt, Ghana, Namibia, and, most recently, South Africa, where students traveled this week to study sustainable growth. Through the Global Social Entrepreneurship course, teams of Yale students have worked closely with nonprofit organizations in Ghana and South Africa in recent years.
Yale SOM students also benefit from connections to four peer business schools in Africa through the Global Network for Advanced Management. The Global Network serves as a platform for innovative business education program, including the popular Global Network Week, through which students take a week-long course at another member school. The African member schools are Lagos Business School in Nigeria, Strathmore Business School in Kenya, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in South Africa, and the University of Ghana Business School.
More than 40 Yale SOM alumni currently live and work in Africa, and alumni chapters bring together graduates in Ghana and Nigeria. Prominent alumni whose work has had a meaningful impact in Africa include Ken Ofori-Atta ’88, Minister of Finance in Ghana, and Donald Gips ’89, former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa.
The university-wide Yale Africa Initiative promotes African scholarship, contemporary discourse, and research at Yale and in Africa; strengthens Yale’s relationships with African institutions; increases career opportunities for Yale students across Africa; and attracts the best and the brightest African students to Yale.