Graduating with a degree in public administration, public policy or public finance from a Canadian university may seem like an uphill climb for African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) scholars but it is only the first step towards the ultimate goal of the ALT Scholarship Program – strengthened economic and social development of key public administration and policy sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.
As we celebrate Nelson Mandela Day, we take this opportunity to recognize the graduates of the ALT Scholarship Program and encourage those who are continuing their studies to fulfill Mandela’s vision:
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”
The ALT Scholarship Program was created to commemorate the late Nelson Mandela’s commitment to social justice and equity and has invested in more than 100 young African professionals to become leaders in public administration and policy.
Preparing to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo after completing a Masters of Public Administration at the Université de Moncton, Christian M. Nkunzi summarized his experience and that of his fellow scholars:
“We can say, without hesitation, that we have acquired all the necessary resources to address the challenges which the public sectors of our respective countries are currently facing.”
ALT Alumnus, Sylvester Kaonga (Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2018) has returned to his position as Research Officer at the National Assembly of Zambia.
“Upon my return from my studies in Canada, I was given an extra responsibility to coordinate and manage activities of the African Caribbean Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU). This includes preparing policy briefs for, and offering policy advice to, the Member of Parliament who represents Zambia at various ACP-EU fora, where issues such as trade, economic partnership agreements and climate change are discussed.”
Through their studies in public administration and public policy, ALT scholars are acquiring the skills and knowledge to be change-makers – ready to change the world for the better.
“Education is an opportunity for every generation to build a better future by taking the learning journey that opens the mind to new knowledge sets. With knowledge comes the responsibility of giving back and making a positive impact in one’s community.”
—Clarisse Uwamahoro, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Rwanda
“A health and safety policy is an essential tool in managing health systems. The safety of public officials in rendering services is as important as care giving. Enforcing safety measures starts with a change of attitude of public officers.”
—Juliana Tenkorang, University of Saskatchewan, Ghana
“My studies in public policy have reinforced the need to play an active role in influencing, formulating and implementing the policies that affect us all. I am encouraged to take action and inspire change everyday as Nelson Mandela did.”
—Eseohe Ojo, University of British Columbia, Nigeria
At the end of the ALT Debriefing Program in April 2019, ALT Grad, Adedoyin Luwagi (University of British Columbia, Nigeria) challenged her fellow ALT scholars by citing Mandela’s quote about climbing hills:
“Let us take the call to break more barriers, explore all available opportunities, lead positive changes in desired areas, not playing small, not settling for less, and reaching for our goals.”
The ALT Scholarship Program is funded by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada and by Mastercard Foundation. It is managed by CBIE in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration of Canada and in collaboration with the African Association of Public Administration and Management and the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration.