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Baobab Supercharging Scholarship as a Collective Force for Change

Thousands of students from African countries pursue their education each year through the support of The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program. Becoming a MasterCard Foundation Scholar can be a life-changing moment that opens up opportunities to study at top universities in Africa and around the world. Madit grew up in a farming community in South Sudan during a time of civil war. As a MasterCard Foundation Scholar, he is now studying business, economics, and public policy so that he can set up a college preparatory program in his home country after graduation. Stories like Madit’s are what make The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program such a powerful and transformative program for the next generation of African leaders.

MasterCard Foundation Scholars are driven academically and dedicated to their education, but the experience of adapting to life at university can be daunting without a support system. The need for support continues after graduation as well. Many Scholars return home to lead change within their communities, but require connections to resources, collaboration with others and continued education to accomplish their goals.

Together with Arizona State University and The MasterCard Foundation, we set out to design a community that would support Scholars throughout their education and set them up for success long after graduation. The result was Baobab, a social learning platform that elevates scholarship into a source of lifelong learning and empowers the next generation of African leaders to create social change.

“Our cross-sector collaboration with Artefact and The MasterCard Foundation has pushed the limits of a first of its kind social learning platform. Together, we draw upon the strengths and expertise of a foundation, university and design firm to create a global force for change.”

Bethany Weigele, Director of Lifelong Learning Initiatives, Arizona State University

“Before Baobab, I was worried what would happen to me after the scholarship. Would I be able to continue my education? How will I stay connected to all the people I have met during my scholarship? Now all that worry is gone. Students are sharing so many great opportunities with each other that I never knew were available, and we can stay connected with each other on Baobab.”

Pauline, MasterCard Foundation Scholar

“My level of confidence and curiosity now has greatly improved. This semester I have answered and asked more questions just because I feel confident in airing my views. And Baobab had contributed to that!”

Victorine, MasterCard Foundation Scholar