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Top MBA Scholarships for African Students

Recognizing that tuition and other fees can be cost-prohibitive for many talented students, top MBA programs have striven to make funding available, based both on merit and financial need. There are a wide variety of MBA scholarship opportunities out there, from those offered by specific schools to open awards given by companies or private foundations. Today, I would like to take a look at the scholarships that top MBA programs have developed for African students or students from developing countries. In the coming weeks, I will continue to profile opportunities for other groups. Many of these deadlines are coming up in late spring or early summer, so make sure you don’t miss out on a great opportunity.

MBA Scholarship
Stanford Graduate School of Business: Africa MBA Fellowship

The Stanford Africa MBA Fellowship program was launched in 2013 and is expected to run for three to five years. Up to eight fellowships will be awarded annually, each covering all tuition and fees. Fellows are required to return to Africa to work for at least two years within two years of their graduation, and must plan to contribute professionally to the continent’s development. Read more here.

Deadline: 13 June 2014 (for 2014/2015 class)

Harvard Business School: The 7UP Harvard Business Scholarship for Nigerians

This scholarship was created in 2010 by Seven Up Bottling Company’s Nigeria branch and covers tuition and fees for two-year MBA students from Nigeria. For more information, requirements and deadlines, applicants should email

London Business School:  The Mo Ibrahim Foundation Scholarship

Nationals of sub-Saharan Africa are eligible for this scholarship, given to two students each year. All tuition and fees are covered, and recipients are expected to contribute to LBS marketing efforts in the region. Read more here.

Deadline: None- all applicants are automatically considered for the award

INSEAD: The Deepak and Sunita Gupta Endowed Scholarship for Developing Countries

Applicants looking to study at INSEAD’s France campus can apply for this scholarship, which can amount to up to 25,000 euros. Candidates must be nationals of developing countries and must be able to prove financial need. Read more here.

Deadline: 12 May 2014 (Round 1) and 16 July 2014 (Round 2) (for 2015-2016 class)

IMD: The Van Oord Scholarship, The Jim Ellert Scholarship, and Africa Alumni Scholarships

The Van Oord Scholarship is awarded to candidates with financial need who are citizens of a developing country where progress has been strongly influenced by its seaside location, river systems, or other maritime tradition. Students with a technical or marine engineering background are preferred. Read more here.

Deadline: 30 September 2014 (for 2015-2016 class)

The Him Ellert Scholarship is awarded to one candidate who demonstrates financial need and is a national of Africa, Central & Eastern Europe or the Southeast Asian peninsula. Preference is given to female candidates. Read more here.

Deadline: 30 September 2014 (for 2015-2016 class)

One IMD alumni scholarship will be awarded to an African or Middle Eastern citizen based on both financial need and academic merit. Read more here.

Deadline: 30 September 2014 (for 2015-2016 class)

Chicago Booth School of BusinessThe Zonis Fellowship

This fellowship is given to an international student from an emerging economy who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. There is no formal application process- students are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions for further information- or (773) 702-7396. Read more here.

Columbia GSB: The Chief M.F. Lababidi Fellowship Fund

The Nigeria-based Lababidi Family Foundation funds this fellowship. Preference is given to students with ties to Nigeria, but students from other African nations may apply as well. Awards are based on merit. There is no separate application, but to be considered, applicants must submit the standard admissions application in advance of the merit fellowship consideration deadline, listed below. Read more here.

Deadline:  7 January 2015 (for 2015-2016 class)

The Wharton School: Emerging Economy Fellowships

These fellowships are offered to students from emerging economies during each admissions cycle. There is no formal application process- all applicants are considered for fellowships as admissions decisions are made. Read more here.

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