African Scholars

Read about our diverse community of scholars who have received recognition and funding from a variety of scholarship programmes.

Jihan Abass

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Kenya

‘I made the decision to pursue an MBA after launching my startup, a technology- based insurance venture called Griffin Insurance in Kenya. While I have learnt a great deal from running my startup, it became clear to me that I still had some gaps to bridge particularly in my leadership skills and all-round business acumen. I believe that undertaking an MBA will equip me with the necessary set of skills I need in order to successfully grow and scale my business. I chose to attend the University of Oxford due to the focus on social impact which was the main driver of my insurance startup. Prior to this, I graduated with a degree in Finance from CASS Business School and worked as a sugar trader in London. I then made the decision to leave my trading job and move back to Kenya in order to start Griffin Insurance. In Kenya, insurance is often perceived a luxury good for the wealthy, however I wanted to change this perception. I saw this as an opportunity to revolutionise the insurance industry not only in Kenya but across the continent by creating a fully digital insurance solution that will make insurance affordable and widely accessible. Attending Oxford is a dream come true for me and I am truly honoured to receive the Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship. I am incredibly excited to become a member of the University’s large community and to join a diverse MBA class.’

Katherine Joan Abbott

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, South Africa

‘I started my career as a professional ballet dancer in my hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa. After sustaining a major injury, I realized that my true interest was with upskilling people. I strongly believe in the responsibility of opportunity and wanted to use my opportunities to improve the inequality gap in my country. I needed to equip myself with the right education and skills to be effective in any kind of social development; I studied Politics and History followed by a postgraduate Business Management diploma. From there, I founded an income generating and skills programme in Alexandra, a settlement on the outskirts of Johannesburg. I learnt about development at a grassroots level and this initiative generated millions of Rands for the community. I loved my time in “Alex” but realized I needed additional training and mentorship to be more effective. I then worked as a Director at forgood, a tech platform that connects employees to causes. Managing big brands to implement volunteering and employee engagement provided a great foundation in corporate South Africa, and social entrepreneurship. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be at Saïd Business School and to represent the School as a Saïd Business School Foundation Scholar. My goal is to be a better development practitioner in South Africa through this exciting challenge.’

Khalida Abdulrahim

MBA student headshot

Oxford-Leo Tong Chen Scholarship & Linacre College Dapo Olagunju Scholarship, Nigeria

‘Subsequent to earning a first-class bachelor’s degree in International Business, I started my career in energy trading at BP, working in various commercial roles across strategy, operations, and business development. A desire to embark on a personal and professional challenge led me to the Oxford MBA. I was particularly drawn to the strong community feel of Oxford, the responsible business ethos of Saïd Business School, and the incredible diversity of the MBA cohort. It is my expectation that the MBA will equip me with the skills and network needed to achieve my career goals and provide a platform to further explore my interests around corporate strategy, digital innovation, and energy access. I am looking forward to an exciting year of learning, sharing, and collaborating with my classmates and the wider Oxford community. I am also grateful for the generous scholarships I was awarded and hope to be in a position to pay it forward in the future.’

Stephanie Lefe Aboagye

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Ghana

‘I moved back to my home country of Ghana, after my masters’ in Actuarial Science, to begin a career in a field that was different from what I had trained for. My time at EY as a transaction advisor was enlightening, it nurtured a passion in me that I was not fully aware of. I was engaged in advising businesses navigate the African business terrain. Whilst in Ghana, I began my own entrepreneurial journey; I started and invested in a real estate company, a landscaping enterprise, reading room project, and led a partnership process of setting up a business incubator. It afforded me insights into navigating the African business terrain, opportunities for growth, challenges, and how to solve them. To diversify my experiences and validate my ideas, I went back to Canada to practice as an Actuarial Analyst at Empire Life Insurance, where I spearheaded the redesign and implementation of actuarial models for mortality and lapse studies, asset projections and reinvestment strategies. My career experiences and education which includes a B.A with first-class honors from the University of Ghana, a Master of Actuarial Science from the University of Waterloo, an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and success in the first two levels of the CFA exams are part of my dedication to build myself to become a resource of service to enterprises. Oxford Saïd was an easy choice for me. I knew right from when I made the decision to further develop myself that this was a place where I will be able to learn and build a network of lifelong relationships to effect change in my society. I am truly honoured to have been awarded a Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship and to be joining the extraordinary cohort of Forté Foundation Fellows.’

Damilola Bolaji

MBA student headshot

Oxford-Grace Lake Scholarship, Nigeria

‘After graduating with a degree in Agricultural Development, I took up roles in Agribusiness firms in Business Operations, Research, and Project Management. I decided to pursue an MBA to expand my thinking and prepare for the next level of my career. The intellectual stimulation and breadth of new skills the programme offers coupled with its Africa focus made Oxford an irresistible choice. I am confident this will serve as a platform for me to explore my interests around strategic problem solving, social finance, impact investment, and ethical business practices. I am confident that the MBA programme will equip me with tools needed to solve problems in my continent that would impact millions. I look forward to learning, sharing and collaborating with incredible people from more than 60 countries across the world. Given that I took the first step towards an MBA because a friend received support for his; I am most grateful to receive support. The scholarship brought me closer to achieving my dream, and I am confident that it will spur many others from a similar background to pursue their goals. The financial support made the process less overwhelming, and I look forward to paying it forward in the future.’

Kudzai Chigiji

MBA headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Zimbabwe

‘I obtained my Actuarial Science degrees from the University of Cape Town. I am a Fellow of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, and the Actuarial Society of South Africa; and I hold a Masters in Development Finance from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. I have worked in life insurance, healthcare funding and systems development, management consulting, social security, loyalty programmes and digital innovation in the asset finance space. Two years ago, I founded my own organisation, Africans Thinking, in order to better advise African governments, regulators, healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and funders on the challenges facing the healthcare sector. Soon afterwards, I was appointed Non-Executive Director of a company focused on healthcare systems and infrastructure (healthcare and education) development. After completing my MBA, I am going to concentrate my efforts on building these organisations to assist the African development space as well as to unlock the next generation of African businesses. Saïd Business School was a natural choice because its representatives displayed a genuine and infectious passion and philosophy to be and raise leaders who will transform both business and society by solving world-scale problems. It is an honour and privilege to have been awarded the Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship as it takes me closer to achieving my goals. This scholarship, in combination with being a Forté Foundation Fellow, has created a platform for me to encourage business and societal leadership amongst more African women.’

Alan Clarke

MBA student headshot

Oxford-Weidenfeld and Hoffmann Scholarship, South Africa

‘I completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree at Stellenbosch University in 2012 and then started my career working for Transnet National Ports Authority in South Africa which sparked my passion for port and coastal engineering. Pursuing this passion, I decided to complete a Master of Engineering degree part-time through Stellenbosch University. I graduated in 2016 with a degree that specialised in port and coastal engineering. In 2015 I joined AECOM where I worked in both engineering design roles and project management consultancy roles related to the development of infrastructure in Africa. Most recently I spent 18 months working on the development of a new $1.5 billion container port in Ghana. Working on infrastructure projects in Africa has made me acutely aware of the infrastructure crisis that Africa is facing. I feel extremely privileged to be a part of the 2018/19 MBA class at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. I look forward to learning from great minds, being inspired by the people I meet and being shaped by the Oxford environment. The MBA will provide the perfect platform for me to follow my dream of one day leading a team that specialises in financing and implementing sustainable infrastructure projects throughout Africa.’

Samuel Darko

MBA student headshot

Dean’s Africa Scholarship, Ghana

‘I am a serial entrepreneur, traveler and philanthropist who is deeply passionate about Africa. I have visited more than 20 African countries and spent a large part of my career working on some of the continent’s grandest challenges and greatest opportunities. When I decided it was time for business school, I knew it had to be Oxford Saïd. The impressive alums I know, their compelling work, and the School’s demonstrable interest in and commitment to Africa, made me confident that Oxford was the place for me. Being recognised by Saïd Business School, with the Dean’s Africa Scholarship, is as humbling as it is a source of great pride. Before Oxford, I spent the last five years as a member of the inaugural management team of the African Leadership University (ALU). As ALU’s Director of Student Recruitment, I served as chief evangelist and led our effort to enroll 1,500+ of Africa’s brightest minds from 35 countries. Since 2015, I have been a mentor/judge for the annual $1M African Entrepreneurship Award. I have also invested in and continue to advise several African start-ups in e-commerce, urban transportation, logistics, and e-payments. In the last ten years, I have led community service clubs and initiatives that have raised nearly $200,000 for philanthropic projects in education and healthcare. Post-MBA, I look forward to applying my expertise in marketing, sales, and business development to support organisations looking to increase their footprint and impact in Africa.’

Omar El Naggar

MBA student

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Egypt

‘My dream has always been to become an entrepreneur. So, I pursued an undergraduate degree in Business and started a career in investment banking to gain exposure to a wide range of businesses, and simultaneously build the skills and network I would eventually need as an entrepreneur. In the long term, I want to go back to Egypt to develop a tech-focused company that provides tech services to the global community, and sites that leverage our unique geographic position. As an investment banker in Dubai, I helped launch Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank’s advisory services and executed several headline-making Islamic finance deals. Doing global transactions, I developed broad international experience and learned the technical and financial facets of running a regional business. Now, I need to build skills in other business areas, such as strategy and operations, to develop a well-rounded tech startup toolkit. At Oxford, I will gain impeccable core business skills and sound my business ideas through interactions with a world-class faculty and a highly diverse student body. Oxford will also help me develop a second-to-none international alumni network, which I can reach out to for support and fundraising as I establish my business. I am truly honoured to be awarded the prestigious Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship. The award gives me an opportunity to earn skills that will serve my community following graduation and when I move back to Egypt in the long term.’

Richard Elliot

mba student

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, South Africa

‘I am a Chartered Accountant and before I came to Oxford I was consulting to UK based private equity firms. What attracted me to the programme was Dean Tufano’s words: “When you join Oxford Saïd, you make a commitment to dealing with some of the most important problems in the world.” I am interested in philosophy and politics and would like to be part of the resolution of the complex land issue in South Africa. Being accepted to the programme and being awarded a scholarship meant a great deal to me. From this year I hope to gain the confidence and develop the skills to make a difference in the world.’

Emma Karanja

mba student

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Kenya

‘Having graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, I have been working as a medical doctor in Kenya for the last five years. I have unique experience in working for both the national government and, most recently, Gertrude’s Children Hospital: the largest private paediatric hospital in East and Central Africa. My experience has given me a lens through which to see and understand the gaps and challenges that exist within the current healthcare system. I believe that everyone deserves a shot at a healthy life - no matter what their income, ethnic group, or where they call home. I am passionate about Universal Health Coverage in developing countries, especially Africa. By pursuing an MBA at Oxford, I hope to gain the knowledge, networks and perspectives needed to influence changes in healthcare that are both sustainable and scalable. Saïd Business School represents the best of business schools, and it was always the first option for me because of its focus on Africa and social impact. I consider it a great privilege to be awarded the Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship. The SBSF Scholarship has made attending Oxford a possibility and reduced the burden on my family to make this dream a reality.’

Nana Abena Kumi

mba student

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Ghana

‘Prior to attending the University of Oxford, I worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers Ghana as an auditor for 6 years. I attended Achimota Secondary School and then went on to the University of Ghana Business School for my undergraduate degree. I studied Business Administration and majored in Accounting. I chose Oxford for my MBA because of its rich history, great academic record and most importantly to challenge myself. I chose Oxford to prove not only to myself, but to other young ladies with a similar background to mine, that no challenge is off limits, and that we can truly achieve anything if we put in the work. Being awarded this scholarship means I get to live out this dream. The next 12 months of my life promises to be both exciting and thought-provoking, and I look forward to the great experience that awaits me at Oxford! In my spare time, I absolutely love dancing and spending time with my friends. I joined a group of young ladies who use dance as a tool to empower women and a way to stay physically fit.’

Anike Lawal

MBA student headshot

Oxford-Adara Foundation Scholarship, Nigeria

‘I started my career as a management consultant for KPMG Nigeria after which I worked briefly for a local ‘daily deals’ e-commerce startup in Nigeria, before starting my platform Mamalette. Mamalette started as an online community providing content and support to pregnant women and new mothers in Nigeria. Since our inception we have reached over 4 million mothers online and the platform has now evolved into an organisation that inspires and educates experienced mothers to help them improve maternal and infant health outcomes in their communities. Through our programmes within 35 different urban poor communities across three cities in Nigeria, we have provided information support and guidance to 1000+ poor and at-risk pregnant women and new mothers. I have a bachelor’s degree in Business and French from the University of Dublin and a master’s degree in Law and Accounting from the London School of Economics. I am Nigerian born and bred. I am who I am today because of my unique experiences, my hard work and determination and most importantly because of the strength of my character. I have always had the hunger to do work that can positively impact the lives of others and pursuing an MBA at Oxford is the next step towards achieving my goal of building a world class social business. I am honoured to have been selected as the Oxford-Adara Foundation Scholar. I believe that the opportunities provided by this scholarship will give me the knowledge, skills, network and foundation required to make a significant impact on the African continent and take my place as a young African woman in the world. It is a great privilege for me to study at such a prestigious university such as the University of Oxford. I am looking forward to learning from my professors, classmates and guest speakers at the Said Business School. I am also looking forward to building networks and partnerships that could further the work that I have started. It is my intention to make the best use of this once in a lifetime opportunity and to apply the knowledge gained to benefit the African continent.’

Marko Mahuni

mba student

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Zimbabwe

‘I am a holder of an Accountancy degree and a qualified chartered accountant having spent four years with Deloitte in Harare, Zimbabwe and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have spent the past three years as Head of Finance at Untu Capital Limited, a leading microfinance company in Zimbabwe. At Untu I spearheaded the introduction of Zimbabwe’s first ever mobile traded bond and led the Company to its maiden public issuance which was oversubscribed, a first in Zimbabwe by a microfinance institution. I have a passion for impact investment particularly in the area of financial inclusion as a solution to poverty reduction and entrepreneurial development. I chose Oxford because of its strong commitment to addressing global challenges through responsible business practices. I wish to hone my skill set and knowledge in this area and go on to influence policy and strategy formulation in the corporate world. The SBSF scholarship has afforded me an opportunity to study at a world class institution where my interaction with people from diverse backgrounds will broaden my world view. In my spare time I enjoy reading corporate law books, meeting people from diverse backgrounds and I am also an avid football fan.’

Anupah Makoond

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Mauritius

‘I am passionate about sustaining peace, both in countries emerging from conflict where peacebuilding is pressing or in stable societies where peace can be taken for granted. For the last five years, I have supported dialogue processes and data initiatives in conflict affected countries, notably in Liberia, East Timor, Guatemala and Burkina Faso. Most recently, I have been working for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, conducting population perception surveys to inform peacekeeping and humanitarian action in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Before becoming involved in peacebuilding, I led advocacy efforts on drug policies and harm reduction programmes in Mauritius, discovering that beyond all else, I like to work with, and for people. I decided to do the 1+1 MBA to improve my technical and management skills so that I can become more effective and innovative in my line of work.’

Catharina Malan

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, South Africa

‘I am an Architect and have been practicing in Cape Town for the past few years. I thoroughly enjoy my career as it combines both structure and logic with creativity. My experience ranges from high-end residential to large scale commercial projects. I believe my natural aptitude for leadership as well as architectural education and experience can align with innovative business management and allow for my growth within, but not exclusively, to the Architectural industry. My architectural education and experience have already developed my creativity, design ability, spatial and critical reasoning, problem solving and ability to coordinate teamwork. During my MBA year I aim to advance my strategic thinking, management and business skills. My new combined skillset and my natural drive to succeed will allow for a more considered and holistic approach in my future career path. Oxford also offers the exciting opportunity to work side by side with a very diverse MBA class, to build an international network and to experience a year of student life immersed in history and culture. On top of that, my values align with Saïd’s business philosophy and the emphasis it places on responsible/impact business management. Receiving the Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship has been instrumental in my final decision and financial ability to attend Oxford and thus actuate my career goals.’

Joy Nkosi

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Swaziland

After graduating with a degree in Engineering from Brown University, USA, I felt strongly that I had not had enough opportunity to explore my interests in economics and business. This search led me to a highly competitive industry, energy consulting; where I could apply the practical quantitative skills and innovative mindset I had worked hard on as an undergraduate. Since then I have been fortunate to work in the energy and engineering sectors creating systems to solve, and advising on, some of the world’s greatest problems. Saïd Business School was an obvious choice for me because of its visible and genuine drive for responsible business that is impactful on a global scale. In addition, at Oxford, I am looking forward to meeting and bonding with global-oriented and like-minded individuals from a variety of backgrounds who also have an excellent work ethic. At Saïd, I am hoping to access the world class academic resources and the entrepreneurially driven environment to build on and solidify my experience working in the intellectually demanding sectors of engineering project management, financial advisory services, and energy. I am truly honoured to be a Saïd Business School Foundation Scholar and a Forté Fellow. I look forward to being a valuable member of the Oxford Community and I hope that I can add to it as much as I know I will gain from it.’

Seye Odukogbe

Jacobs Foundation Scholarship & Alumni Annual Fund Scholarship, Nigeria

‘I was born in Nigeria and completed my education in the UK, graduating with a Master of Engineering in Medical Engineering from Queen Mary University of London. I am a chartered engineer, and for the past ten years I have contributed to the development of transport infrastructure and intelligent mobility in the UK and Nigeria. I led what was considered then to be the largest transport data collection exercise in the history of Africa. At that time, no quality or comprehensive transport data was available to understand and plan transport effectively in Lagos. I have also been an infrastructure adviser on a large UK government infrastructure programme in Nigeria, where I helped public sector clients to understand the strategic benefits of new technology. During this role, I also developed several innovative decision planning tools to improve transport and infrastructure planning. I have combined my expertise in mobility and passion for education to tackle educational and social barriers by founding the Cycle to Class Initiative - a not-for-profit that seeks to increase access to education for vulnerable children living in rural areas of Nigeria through the provision of bicycles. We train them to safely ride a bicycle and equip them with basic bicycle maintenance skills. I am honoured to be awarded these scholarships. I am also excited about the MBA programme as I will be exposed to different individuals and mindsets that will challenge my own world view.’

Onome Ofoman

mba student

Alumni Annual Fund Scholarship & Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Nigeria

‘I have a strong interest in technology and STEM education through working as a software engineer and part-time computer science instructor. My long-term goal is to usher computer science education in Nigeria into the 21st century in order to increase the supply of highcalibre technologists to facilitate the ongoing tech boom in Africa. Oxford was a clear choice for me, given Saïd’s commitment to Africa and social entrepreneurship, and I look forward to learning and exploring all that the MBA has to offer. My interest in education began during a university class trip to Newark and Brooklyn, where I co-led design thinking and coding workshops in elementary schools. I witnessed first-hand the impact a one-hour session can have in driving students’ interest in technology, and ever since I have sought out opportunities to expose more young people to computer science. During my tenure as a software engineer at Google, I taught computer science at partner universities, and at summer programmes for secondary school students. I also partnered up with start-up communities in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America to lead workshops for and mentor software developers on topics ranging from Material Design in Android and application development for NBU to Machine Learning APIs. In my day job, I worked with the Google Cloud team building front-end technology infrastructure to power the Google Cloud Platform. Before that, I worked on the Search team where I designed and built testing infrastructure for Google Search on mobile and web. I graduated with a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and enjoy distance-running and skiing in my free time.’

Mohammed Yaseer Omar

mba student

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship & Balliol College Hakeem Belo-Osagie Scholarship, South Africa

‘Having grown up in South Africa, the Netherlands, Singapore and further educated in the UAE, the US and China, I have always considered myself a nomad. Always on the look-out for new opportunities to broaden my horizon of thinking, I have patented inventions, published scientific papers, run student governments and shaped the operations of a highgrowth firm in the Middle East. Most recently, I spent a year in China as a Schwarzman Scholar, where I explored how economics, politics and international relations influenced the sphere of business. To broaden my analytical skills and understanding of the business world, I then joined the Boston Consulting Group on their Summer Consultant internship program in Dubai. I chose to join Oxford Saïd’s MBA programme as I am well aware of the diversity of its class, both in terms of nationalities and in terms of career-paths that my classmates have taken. In the year ahead, I hope to take advantage of the fact that I will be in the center of one of the world’s oldest universities, seeking to connect with the bright minds that have come together to learn. As a Scholar, I hope to be an ambassador for the school who strives to pass on the same opportunities that I’ve been given.’

Nikul Roshania

mba student

Dean’s Africa Scholarship, Kenya

‘Many companies in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) struggle with the same fundamental issue; access to affordable capital. Having worked in SSA and seeing this challenge first hand has driven me to better understand emerging market private equity and how financial intermediaries in SSA can better support companies affecting change across a variety of industries. The definition of social impact is often debated; in my view, especially in emerging markets, any company that contributes to the economic growth of a region is socially impactful. I studied Biomedical and Electrical Engineering then joined Strategy& (formally Booz & Co.) in South Africa to gain exposure to corporate problems faced by financial services and energy industries. I then joined TechnoServe as a Fellow to assist them in optimizing the Rwandan coffee value chain. After this I moved to Tanzania to help Africa Healthcare Network (a dialysis service chain that provides high quality care at an affordable cost) expand across East Africa while helping to curb the growth of Non-Communicable Diseases across SSA and decreasing the prevalence of renal related diseases in the region. Saïd Business School attracted me because of its focus on finance and emerging markets with modules that will give me a powerful theoretical and practical perspective on the subject matter. Additionally, SBS has a strong focus on social and environmental responsibility - solving the most pressing issues through collaboration, innovation and execution of powerful ideas, making the school a highly intellectually curious place to learn and grow. Finally, I believe that the collective experience Oxford provides through the collegiate system, the opportunities provided by the Dean’s Scholarship and an extended global network of like-minded individuals will help me achieve my goal of providing realistic access to private capital in SSA and across emerging markets.’

Momodou Sey

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, The Gambia

‘Few people from my generation are proud of the economic condition of our people. The collective experiences of the majority poor Africans are represented in me and in other Africans living in better circumstances. Ultimately, I believe it is the obligation of emerging African leaders to move the needle toward economic and financial prosperity of our communities. I have a BA in Business Economics and BA in Political Science from the State University of New York at Cortland, and an MA in Public Administration from Cornell University. The Oxford MBA, along with the Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, will provide me with the opportunity to help the development of private enterprise in Africa whilst leveraging the influence of government. As a Fragile & Conflict Situations (FCS) coordinator for the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in The Gambia, I had some influence on the development of policy and advisory projects for the private sector, influenced government regulations, and organised private sector development institutions to formulate a national business reform agenda. My primary role however, is with the IFC investment team. I successfully completed a business development exercise interviewing 500 companies in FCS economies, resulting in access to critically needed investment capital. I am honoured to join and learn from fellow scholars, and other members of the class of 2020. Oxford Saïd has the unique capacity to bring together young professionals of substantive and diverse backgrounds and I hope the enduring lessons from my stint at Oxford would be those learned outside the classroom as much as inside.’

Hannah Sibanda

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Zimbabwe

‘After having graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand with degrees in Actuarial Science and Mathematical Statistics, I joined Barclays Africa Group in Johannesburg. For the two years I was with the organisation my work focused on traded market risk across all of Barclays’ Africa entities. In 2016, I moved to Washington D.C. to join the International Finance Corporation, the private sector sister organisation of the World Bank. As a financial analyst in the Treasury, I worked on a wide range of projects; from finding financing solutions for small and medium enterprises in some of the poorest countries in the world, to raising funds for large infrastructure projects in emerging markets. Oxford’s focus on Africa, socially responsible business and training global leaders who can make a positive impact in the world were influential in my decision to join the programme. I am excited to pursue my MBA at Saïd Business School because I believe it aligns well with my long-term goals and passions. It is an honour to be a scholar at Oxford Saïd; not only do I get financial support for my academic training, I also get to be part of a group of creative and passionate young people who are eager to tackle the challenges that our world faces’.

Lindokuhle Sibiya

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, South Africa

‘I am an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon with a passion for delivering high quality specialised healthcare to communities most in need. I have spent my entire career in state sector hospitals, and in my most recent role I managed the ENT services for a rural population of 2.4 million. These experiences taught me that in order to have a sustainable impact, I needed to address factors beyond my scope of clinical patient care. I am pursuing an MBA to learn skills that will allow me to create and implement strategies for effective and sustainable healthcare access and delivery. These skills will help me to develop as a leader, and engage effectively, strategically and confidently with other role players in the healthcare industry, such as finance. I am also involved with the Southern African Association of Women Surgeons, working to support women surgeons at all stages of their rigorous surgical careers. This comes not only though mentorship but also through engagements with policy makers that facilitate institutional transformation. The Oxford Saïd MBA was my first choice MBA, particularly because of its strong focus on social impact. I am excited to become a part of the diverse class group, learning from, and with, dynamic professionals from around the world. The scholarship has helped in making this possible. When I am not working I enjoy spending time outdoors with my husband and amazing children, dabbling in a range of activities from cycling to scuba diving.’

Victoria Udom

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, Nigeria

‘I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wellesley College, and began my career on Wall Street, as an Investment Analyst at J.P. Morgan. I subsequently transitioned to Private Equity, working for an emerging markets-focused PE firm out of New York, before moving back home to Nigeria, to serve as an Adviser to Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment. I am deeply passionate about Nigeria’s economic development - with private sector partnership and good governance being the bedrock of sustained growth - and exploring the roles that education, social entrepreneurship and gender inclusion can play in unlocking Africa’s potential and equipping its next generation of leaders. I’ve been fortunate to set this vision in motion by gaining relevant experience in private and public sector, and have worked with incredible teams to co-found a social impact initiative that empowers social entrepreneurs, launch a pan-African education startup, create a professional development programme for young women in Business and participate in children’s programmes that focus on instilling the right values in the next generation. The Oxford MBA is especially appealing to me because of its international focus, entrepreneurial spirit and its innovative global approach to business and leadership. Having lived in six countries, I am excited to join one of the world’s most diverse MBA classes and become immersed in a global programme taught by leading faculty. I look forward to exploring Saïd’s extensive curriculum, learning from my classmates and being a part of the larger Oxford community with its rich and exciting traditions! I’m extremely grateful to the Saïd Foundation for the opportunity to be a Scholar and a Forté Fellow, and hope to give back during my time at Oxford and beyond.’

Jurie Jean Van De Vyver

mba student

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, South Africa

‘As a Chartered Accountant (South Africa), trained traditional medicine curandero, management consultant, writer, public speaker, educator, storyteller and dreamer – integration is the silver thread by which I weave my life together. For a long time, training in auditing, living in India, consulting in strategy, studying in the Amazon and cultivating spiritual intelligence seemed unrelated. The dots of my life are starting to converge. I am currently exploring organisational emotional intelligence: that critical intersection between strategy and “wetware”. My conviction is that realising collective potential is contingent on realising individual potential, and that aligning value creation between the two is paramount to our sustainability across economic, political and social spheres. We need new organisational models to meet the needs of the emerging collective consciousness - models that empower, ennoble and enable the human spirit. The MBA will equip me to understand and deliver on organisational design, leadership development and models-based education. I chose Oxford Saïd because it is the only school that sprinkles the curriculum with magic. I am incredibly grateful for the brilliant people that will shape my experience, for the scholarship that has enabled this journey, and for the opportunity to add to Oxford’s legacy of pioneering paradigms.’

Sarel van Baalen

MBA student headshot

Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship, South Africa

‘My mission is to help unlock Africa’s potential by improving the continent’s public infrastructure. After obtaining my bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering, I joined one of Africa’s leading infrastructure firms, where for the past six years I have worked as an engineer and project manager on projects in the water, energy, transport, and real estate sectors. I particularly enjoy working with a spectrum of stakeholders to achieve the technical and commercial viability of complex infrastructure projects. During this time, I also served on the advisory board of Engineers Without Borders and completed my part-time studies towards a bachelor’s degree in commerce. I believe that I can make a far larger contribution to Africa’s infrastructure challenge by building and leading infrastructure enterprises. To achieve this in the long run, I will join an infrastructure investment team in an Africa-focused development finance corporation upon graduation. Through this, I will not only gain expertise and credibility but also develop my network and understanding of African markets. The Oxford MBA is the perfect mechanism to achieve both my short and long-term career goals; it will give me the skills to be effective, the confidence to take charge, the perspectives to think differently and the inspiration to make an impact. Studying at the University of Oxford is an honour and I am humbled to have been awarded a Saïd Business School Foundation Scholarship. I look forward to being an ambassador for Oxford and in the future giving others the opportunity to do the same.’

Diana Wangari

MBA student photo

Skoll Foundation Scholarship, Kenya

Dr. Diana Esther Wangari is the CEO and co-founder of Checkups Medical Centre in Kenya. Dr. Diana is posed to scale their rapid outpatient diagnostic and treatment model which will unlock a 1 Billion Dollar market, targeting blue collar works in the fast growing segments of the economy including manufacturing, farming, travel and hospitality. Checkups Medical Centres utilize in-house developed technology, iSikCure; to provide access to rapid diagnostics, consultation and last mile drug distribution through its delivery services both in urban and rural areas. Under her leadership, Checkups has rapidly grown with projected revenue of over 1 Million Dollars by its first anniversary. Having established partnerships with insurance and pharmaceutical companies including Sanofi, Novartis and Roche. Her vision as a Skoll Scholar is to identify partners – pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic and investors to fulfill her mission. By scaling Checkups Medical Centre to 25 sites in the East Africa Region in the next 5 years, her venture could create over 300 jobs, improve access to medicines and diagnostics at 30 -40% below market rate and drive Universal Health Care through private sector strategies. Dr. Diana as the co-founder, serves on the board of Sagitarix Limited, a health technology company that developed ZiDi, a health management information system serving over 60 Facilities in over 6 African Countries.