African Leadership University

Scholars Program


The Mastercard


The Mastercard Foundation’s mission is to advance learning and promote financial inclusion for people living in poverty. To achieve this mission, Mastercard Foundation is partnering with visionary organizations across the continent to execute on its Young Africa Works Strategy which will enable 30 million young people, particularly women, in Africa to secure dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

The African Leadership University (ALU) is an undergraduate and postgraduate institution that uses a unique and innovative learning model that integrates students’ learning with the real world and empowers students to take ownership of their own learning.

The broader African Leadership Group | Mastercard Foundation partnership was initiated in 2020 with the goal of developing and placing 2 Million young women and men into dignified and fulfilling jobs by 2030.

Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program

Aimed at enabling the most promising young leaders from across Africa to access an ALU education, despite financial adversity or economic hardship. The program implements a full scholarship programme and places particular emphasis on young women, refugees, and differently-abled young Africans.

Since the partnership’s inception, ALU has enrolled 768 Mastercard Foundation Scholars into its programs. 68% of this figure are young women, 19% (147) account for refugees/ displaced young persons, and ~1%  for young persons with disabilities

ALU has enrolled Scholars from 32 countries as illustrated below;


Scholars Countries of Origin

Demographic Distribution

Since its inception, ALU has made great strides toward ensuring the development and placement of young Africans into dignified and fulfilling jobs. Today, 96% of young leaders at ALU who responded to our surveys reported their jobs as dignified and fulfilling. 80% of our graduates report placement within 6 months, with an average salary of $12,000 per year. Entrepreneurship continues to fuel job creation – our entrepreneurs continue to break records, with over 20,000 jobs created and over $3 million raised. Without a doubt, Mastercard Foundation Scholars consistently demonstrate their commitment to doing hard things and giving back. 

Meet some of the

Mastercard Foundation

Name: Isata Dem

Name: Isata Dem

Country of Origin: Sierra Leone
Degree Program: International Business and Trade

Isata is committed to the advancement of socio-economic issues in disadvantaged areas. Her goal is to create a platform where government ministries can be held accountable on use of funds (specifically, those toward socio-economic development). Isata implemented 6 community projects in Rwanda in 2021 while serving as the project director for Rotaract club of ALU Rwanda – she is currently the club’s President. During the summer (2022), she interned with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development Sierra Leone (Public Investment Directorate).

Name: Erjok Samuel Mach

Name: Erjok Samuel Mach

Country of Origin: South Sudan
Degree Program: Software Engineering

Erjok is an advocate for education and refugee empowerment. His mission is to leverage technology as a tool to ease access to quality education for refugees and other displaced individuals. Erjok is a fellow and an alumnus of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and is passionate about refugees’ inclusion and access to quality education. He is interested in the role of education as a vital tool for refugees and other displaced persons to build a brighter future.

We have been made aware of scammers impersonating the African Leadership University (ALU). Please exercise caution and be vigilant. Remember, all official ALU emails come from the domain. If you receive any suspicious communication, do not respond or provide personal information. Report any fraudulent activity immediately.Stay safe and informed.

Tips to help you identify and avoid scam emails: