Stanford Graduate School of Business is seeking MBA candidates, who are citizens of an African country and interested in contributing to the region's human and economic development, to apply for the Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship. Fellows must commit to return to Africa within two years, and for at least two years, to leverage their new skills to make an impact on the ground in Africa.
Stanford GSB created the grant, launched in 2013 as a three-year pilot, to enable talented African citizens with a passion for making an impact on the continent's future to pursue an MBA at Stanford. Applications accepted now through June 13, 2014.
Up to eight fellowships will be awarded annually and will cover tuition and associated fees of approximately USD$145,000 for the two-year program. Selected fellows will join the Class of 2017 in September 2015.
Africa is home to many of the world's fastest-growing economies, yet the continent only accounts for a small fraction of global trade. "There are both great opportunities for economic development as well as management challenges," said Stanford Graduate School of Business dean Garth Saloner, who grew up in South Africa. "We are committed to supporting the education of promising high-potential leaders who will make a difference in the continent's future. Moreover, African students in our program provide direct insight into an emerging global economy that is increasingly powerful in business."
The Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship is consistent with Stanford GSB's continuing investment in developing future leaders who understand the implications of Africa's growth. In summer 2013, close to 10% of Stanford MBA students worked in Africa. In 2011, Stanford launched the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies to bridge a critical gap in global efforts to address prosperity around the world. SEED aims to train on-the-ground entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and create jobs. Its first innovation hub was launched in West Africa in 2013, and an East Africa hub is scheduled to open in 2014. The school also supports the Africa Business Club and associated activities, such as the Stanford Africa Forum.
Prospective fellowship applicants can find details about the new two-stage application process and timeline online. In the first stage, applicants complete the free Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship pre-application by June 13, 2014. Up to 50 finalists will be selected by mid-July 2014 based on financial need, as well as Stanford's admission criteria of intellectual vitality, demonstrated leadership potential, and personal qualities and contributions. Finalists then apply for MBA admission to Stanford GSB in Round 1, October 2014.
To be eligible for the fellowship, applicants must be a citizen of an African country. Dual citizens are eligible as long as one citizenship belongs to an African nation. Permanent residents of an African country who are not African citizens are not eligible at this time. Funding is automatically renewed for the second year if the student maintains good academic standing and community citizenship at Stanford GSB. Within two years of graduating from the MBA Program, Stanford Africa MBA Fellows commit to return to Africa for at least two years to leverage their new skills to make an impact on the ground in Africa.
By Sabah Khan