USAID launches scholarship program for students of excellence in agriculture
The 140 scholarships worth $ 1.5 million range from undergraduate studies to PhD programs in the United States at Virginia Tech University, a partner in USAID’s Education and Research in Agriculture program.
To commemorate the launch, USAID/Senegal Deputy Director Alfreda Brewer participated in a ceremony held at the Gaston Berger University in historic Saint-Louis, Senegal’s original capital city.
"Sixty percent of these scholarships will be awarded to female students to encourage excellence, promote education, further training and promotion of agricultural research in Senegal,” Ms. Brewer said. “These scholarships are intended for outstanding students who have completed, in their first year of study, significant results, and have shown real potential to excel in disciplines related to food security." The scholarships promise to improve the integration of women into academia, and hence the economic fabric of Senegal, where women are often marginalized, and to encourage gender equality and the empowerment of women. They also aim to encourage excellence, foster education, training and research in the field of agriculture in Senegal.
The launch of the program coincided with the closing ceremony of a training workshop from 5 to 7 March, which raised awareness of 65 students, mostly girls, of career opportunities available to them in the agricultural sector, a key driver of Senegal’s economy important to maintaining food security in the country.