Select Page

Oxford’s new MBA scholarship to empower African women

Oxford’s new MBA scholarship to empower African women

A new Oxford MBA scholarship designed to empower high-potential African women to engage in the economic development of the continent has been launched.

The scholarship was announced by Dean Peter Tufano at the School’s annual Oxford Business Forum Africa event recently.

From 2019, the Adara Foundation, in partnership with Oxford University, will fund a full scholarship for an exceptional female MBA candidate from Africa for three years. The Foundation shares Saïd Business School’s commitment to fostering greater gender parity in education and increasing levels of investment in talented individuals from across Africa.

“Throughout Africa, women’s lower education levels limit their ability to contribute more meaningfully to socio-economic development on the continent. Initiatives like this are important as education is one of the most crucial areas of empowerment for women,” said Yvonne Ike, founder of the Adara Foundation, a non-profit social enterprise in Nigeria, which focuses on empowering women and advancing education in Africa.

The scholarship, open to female candidates of an African nationality, covers the full MBA programme fee and living expenses. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to return to their home country upon completion of the one-year MBA programme to contribute to Africa’s business and socio-economic development.

According to the African Development Bank, eliminating gender inequality and empowering women could raise the productive potential of one billion Africans, delivering a huge boost to the continent’s development potential.

“Women will play an increasingly critical role in harnessing the challenges, driving the development of the global economy and importantly, the development of Africa – they need to be better supported to do so,” said Ike.

“My hope is that the Oxford – Adara Foundation Scholarships will inspire others to consider taking similar action to support African women who have a vital role to play in the global economy, and particularly within Africa,” she added.

Peter Tufano, Dean of Saïd Business School said, ‘At our recent Oxford Business Forum Africa, one of the keynote speakers noted that the two engines for growth in the world would be women and Africa. We are trying to ensure that our community is positioned to lead the way on both fronts. We have been proud to recruit more than 10% of our class from Africa since 2016 and to be pushing towards greater gender equality in our MBA programme. That is why I am delighted to announce the Oxford-Adara Foundation Scholarship Programme which will support highly talented African women during their time at the School and inspire them to drive this engine of growth.’

Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and keynote speaker at the recent Oxford Business Forum Africa, said ‘The Oxford-Adara Foundation Scholarship for African women is the first of its kind initiative and it is most welcome and most needed. The business school here has a clear focus on Africa, and I think putting the scholarship here will help build a strong community of African women in business. I want to thank Yvonne Ike for this initiative.’

During the opening session of the Oxford Business Forum Africa, Arunma Oteh, Executive-in-Residence at Saïd Business School and former Treasurer, World Bank said,‘A top priority for Africa in 2019, and indeed beyond, is that of inclusive growth. Strengthening women’s empowerment and gender equality will accelerate the achievement of this goal.’

The scholarships will be available for the 2019-20 academic year and no separate application will be needed as all students meeting the criteria will automatically be considered.

About The Author

Guest Contributor

A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.