The scholarship which is part of its 4Afrika Initiative that aims to boost economic development in African countries will provide mentorship, leadership and technical training, certification, university-level education and employment opportunities to aspiring African students.
Mentorship will be provided by Microsoft employees from around the world, and employment opportunities will include internships and both part-time and full-time jobs within Microsoft as well as with the company’s more than 10,000 partners across Africa.
Microsoft intends to help millions of Africans get critical skills for entrepreneurship and employability through its 4Afrika Initiative and YouthSpark program.
Director, Youth Enablement, Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative, Patrick Onwumere said the 4Afrika Scholarship programme will help level the playing field for talented young African minds who might not otherwise have the resources, enabling them to get the education and skills they need to thrive in technology-related fields.
He explained that the 4Afrika Initiative was designed to help ensure that Africa can become globally competitive, and that investing in highly motivated youth is a critical step toward making that a reality.
To help redress gender disparity in higher education in Africa, the company is actively encouraging young women to apply.
In the coming year, Microsoft said it will provide 4Afrika Scholarships to 1,000 youth to pursue associate degrees in computer science and business administration with the first participating higher education institution, University of the People, an American online university dedicated to the democratization of higher education, which is affiliated with the United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative, NYU and Yale Law School ISP.
The first 4Afrika Scholarship students will begin classes in November.