Ideas Matter Research Fellowships for West African Scholars - African Business Magazine
Ideas Matter Research Fellowships for West African Scholars

Ideas Matter Research Fellowships for West African Scholars

The West African Research Association ( and The MasterCard Foundation ( are pleased to announce the recipients of the Ideas Matter Fellowship Program, a new fellowship which supports the research of young academics in the region focusing on women, technology and entrepreneurship. The USD$4,000 grants will allow recipients to solve some of the most trenchant health and economic challenges facing Africa today.

In this inaugural competition, the Ideas Matter Doctoral Fellowship program received 63 applications from graduate students representing 10 West African countries and fields as diverse as biology, agronomy, political science, medicine, public health, chemistry and pharmacy. While only 17 of the 63 applicants were women, the three  applications which rose to the top were all submitted by young women – attesting to the growing role of women in science and technology. The three candidates selected from this rich trove of applications are:

  • Akomoun Blandine Kapko (Benin), Université d’Abomey-Calavi, will develop an inventory of plants used in the traditional treatment of typhoid fever, further working to identify and isolate their active properties.
  • Osemudiamen Anao (Nigeria), University of Benin, will explore the health effects of a toxic common component of e-waste capable of acting as an endocrine disruptor, carcinogen and neuro-development toxicant.
  • Gloria Tetteh-Kubi (Ghana), University of Cape Coast, will investigate measures aimed at reducing widespread pesticide use in cowpea cultivation, contributing to poverty reduction, food security and biodiversity conservation.

The Ideas Matter Fellowship Program reflects WARA and The MasterCard Foundation’s commitment to increasing opportunities for emerging West African scholars who are transforming ideas into active solutions to the challenges facing the region and the world at large.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The MasterCard Foundation.

Media Contact:
Isabelle Bourgeault-Tassé
The MasterCard Foundation
Manager, Media Relations
(m) +1.647.535.3681

About The West African Research Association (WARA):
The West African Research Association ( is devoted to the promotion of research and scholarly exchange between and among West African and US scholars and institutions. Over the past 15 years, WARA has directly supported the work of some 100 West African researchers. WARA’s overseas headquarters, The West African Research Center (WARC) is located in Dakar, Senegal. WARA is a member of the Smithsonian-based Council of American Overseas Research Centers and has its U.S. offices at Boston University’s African Studies Center.

About The MasterCard Foundation:
The MasterCard Foundation ( works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter.

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Written by African Business Magazine

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