LAGOS, NIGERIA – JULY 25, 2019 – Africa Initiative for Governance (AIG) today announced the recipients of the third round of the AIG Scholarships. Every year since 2017, AIG has awarded fully funded Scholarships to young, outstanding West Africans from all backgrounds who are passionate about the public sector, to pursue the Master of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. After their study at Oxford, AIG Scholars are expected to return to their home country and apply their learning experience as change agents in their country’s public sector.

The 2019/2020 AIG Scholarship recipients are Babafemi Adebola (Nigeria), Onyekachukwu Erobu (Nigeria), Nasir Mohammed (Nigeria) Kwame Sarpong (Ghana) and Hakeem Onasanya (Nigeria).

“I am very impressed with our third cohort of AIG Scholars”, said Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Founder and Chairman of Africa Initiative for Governance. ”All five of them represent West Africans of great potential. Three qualities are common to all of them - strong intellectual ability, leadership and a passion for public service. It takes a strong value-system to want to serve the public good and these five individuals have demonstrated a compelling desire to do so”.

In June 2016, AIG signed a five-year 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.  In each year of the partnership, AIG makes available five full Scholarships for graduate study at the University of Oxford.

“AIG Scholars are selected through a rigorous, transparent and merit-based process”, said Ms. Chienye Ogwo, Chief Executive Officer of AIG. “Through this process, AIG seeks to encourage the same values in the next generation of public service leaders. With a third round of Scholars, we are honoured to contribute to the development of talent critical to support Africa’s future”.

“I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and relief to have met the exceptionally high standards set by AIG for the prestigious Scholarship”, said Mr. Nasir Mohammed, a Mechanical Engineering graduate of King’s College, London and one of the recipients of the 2019 AIG Scholarships. “Being selected as an AIG Scholar is a vote of confidence in my latent abilities which I intend to nurture during my time at the Blavatnik School, in preparation for my contribution to public service. I intend to use this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop myself both personally and professionally.”

“The AIG Scholarship is a stamp of recognition of my academic abilities and leadership potential, which not only humbles me, but also spurs me to do more for the benefit of humanity, “ said Kwame Sarpong, one of the recipients, who holds degrees in Administration and Law. “The desire for public service has burned within me for as long as I can remember. It was against this backdrop that I decided to pursue Law because I considered it a powerful tool to effect widespread change. After the MPP, I aim to return to Ghana and apply my enhanced skillset to help shape the implementation of trade policy”.

AIG also announced the application window dates for the 2020/2021 AIG Scholarships as Wednesday, July 31 to Monday, September 23, 2019.