Twenty-one (21) Ghanaian professionals have been awarded scholarships by the Australian High Commission to undertake fully-funded master’s studies in Australia.
The awards scheme is aimed at strengthening the skills and capacities of Ghana’s future leaders, by offering them the opportunity to study under full scholarships in Australia.
The 21 Ghanaian beneficiaries were selected based on merit, as they scored higher marks in the quizzes and interviews than their counterparts from Cote d’ Ivoire and Sierra Leone – who won only one spot each.
The 21 form part of the total 156 professionals selected from across Africa to receive the prestigious Australian Government Scholarship Awards.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Andrew Barnes – speaking at a pre-departure briefing for the scholars, said the Australian government is delighted to nurture and facilitate local talent and expertise through its programme, so that they can make an important contribution to Ghana’s inclusive growth and development in the future.
“You have demonstrated the leadership potential required to advance development in Africa. We are delighted that you will have this opportunity to develop your talent in Australia, and we are confident that you will make an important contribution to national and regional development upon your return home,” he said.
The successful scholars will commence their studies at various Australian universities from January 2019 – in diverse fields such as agriculture, extractives, health, environmental management, gender studies and public policy.
The de-briefing programme is to equip the scholars with valuable information about travelling to and settling in Australia, adopting to Australian climates and cultures, as well as coping with their academic environment and developing strong professional networks.
The Ghana Alumni chapter of the Australia Awards were present to sensitise and share their first-time experiences and life in Australia with the scholars ahead of their departure.
Joyce Ocansey, an alumna, advised the scholars to research online about the university they will be attending; its geographical location in Australia, the climate conditions present, and items to carry and those not to carry in order not to exceed the flight baggage allowance.
Gladys Lomotey, an awardee who is to study at Melbourne University, expressed her profound gratitude to the Australian government and the Scholarship Scheme for providing her and her colleagues with such a great opportunity to increase their level of knowledge in order to impact more lives in society.
The Australia Awards is a flagship development assistance programme of the Australian government, providing world-class post-graduate training opportunities for African professionals.
It is a prestigious development assistance programme that provides all-expenses-paid Masters and professional development Short Course scholarships to exceptional African candidates in areas where Australia has a known expertise.
So far, 367 Ghanaians have benefitted from the awards since their inception in 2011 – with special recognition to women and people with disabilities.