In honour of Nelson Mandela, Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced support for several new scholarships that will allow gifted Canadian students as well as early career public sector professionals from Africa to pursue further studies in Canada.
“Nelson Mandela believed that education, more than anything else, improved the chances of leading a better life,” said the Prime Minister. “I am very proud that our Government is supporting scholarships that will help early career public sector professionals from Africa gain the knowledge they need to help advance economic and social development in their countries. In addition, it is equally gratifying that gifted Canadian students will benefit from new scholarships that will allow them to study national unity, democracy, freedom and human rights – goals that the great South African leader championed so tirelessly during his remarkable life.”
The African Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarships Fund, created in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, will help early career public sector professionals in Africa gain knowledge and learn best practices in governance, public policy and administration, helping them to become effective leaders, as well as positioning them to enhance prosperity and reduce poverty on the continent. The merit-based program will consider candidates from across Africa for study in Canada for one to two years, with special consideration given to female students to encourage the advancement of women leaders in Africa. The Fund will be administered and implemented by a Canadian organization, which will be selected in the coming months through a competitive selection process. Details of the program will also be defined in the coming months.
The Canada Graduate Scholarships to Honour Nelson Mandela, which will be administered through the granting councils, will be open to Canadians pursuing master’s or doctoral-level degrees in the fields of social sciences and humanities at Canadian universities, and whose research will be focused on at least one of four themes: national unity; democracy, freedom and human rights; leadership; and children’s participation in society. A total of up to 20 scholarships will be awarded as part of the annual Canada Graduate Scholarship competition. Up to 10 master’s scholarships and up to 10 doctoral scholarships will be awarded for the first time in 2015, following the 2014 competition.
Nelson Mandela passed away in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 5, 2013, at the age of 95.