22 Nigerians recently received prestigious Australian awards tagged Africa Master’s Scholarships. The scholars would undertake studies in agriculture, mining and public policy. They are part of a 156 African Scholars offered the opportunity to study in Australia. Other fields of study include engineering, science, environmental health, global food and agricultural business and disability policy and practice.
Speaking at the opening of a two day briefing to prepare the Scholars for departure to Australia , the Australian Charge d’Affaire Ms Cleo Wilson congratulated the Scholars.
“You have demonstrated the leadership potential required to advance development in Africa. We are delighted that you will nurture your talent and expertise in Australian universities and on your return home you will be able to make an important contribution to national and regional development,” Ms Wilson said.
The Australian Government hosted the briefing in Abuja for scholars from Niger and Nigeria. The workshop will offer opportunities for the scholars to gain valuable advice on adapting to the cultural differences of the country, coping with academic environment and developing professional networks.
A beneficiary Nancy Onyeka Okadigbo who hails from Anambra State told LEADERSHIP Sunday, “I want to say thank you to the Australian government I got a scholarship for a Masters degree in environmental law. I’ve always wanted to do my masters. I have graduated in 2006 and did my law school in 2008. But I’ve always wanted to have that experience, a better quality education.
“I applied and I was fortunate to be among the 22 persons that got the scholarship.” She added that she would bring back home to Nigeria what she has learned as regards Australian policies and its implementation process and as it relates to renewable energy, better environment, quality waste disposal management and so on.
In the 2019 cohort of Scholars mobilising 74 of recipients representing 47 per cent are women and seven others have indicated that they have a disability.
The application process is open and merit based offering equal opportunities for African professionals regardless of gender, ethnicity or disability. The Australian government urges applications from women and persons living with a disability. Mechanisms are in place to support the participation of applicants requiring assistance.