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Olam scholarship to support aspiration of sub-Saharan Africa

A new scholarship has been established with the aim of fostering leadership and governance in sub-Saharan Africa. The Olam International Graduate Scholarship - Catalysing Change in African Markets will support a scholar from the region who is undertaking a one year taught master’s programme within the Department of Economics or the Department of International Development. The candidate will be selected on the basis of merit, need and commitment to promoting positive change in their home country or region. 

Olam International is a leading agri-business, operating in 65 countries and supplying food and industrial raw materials to over 13,000 customers worldwide. The company’s roots lie in Africa, where it first began trading cashews in Nigeria 25 years ago, and it now operates in over 20 African countries, sourcing products such as cocoa and cotton from a network of 2.8 million smallholders, investing in rice farming in Nigeria, wheat milling in Senegal and producing packaged foods such as noodles and yoghurts in West Africa.

“LSE was an obvious choice for hosting such a scholar, due to its outstanding teaching and learning programme, its strength in the field of economics and international development, and its very real meaningful impact in the areas of public policy and development,” said Olam Co-Founder and CEO, Sunny Verghese. 

He added: “Olam cannot continue to grow responsibly without addressing some of the key challenges facing the next generation – food, water and energy security, the impact of climate change, sustainable growth and good governance. Through this scholarship, we hope to play our part in developing necessary skills and knowledge in a highly talented select group of change agents. They in turn will then have the opportunity to contribute towards economic transformation and to catalyse change in their community."

The first Olam International Scholar took their place at the School in 2015/16. Applications are now open for 2016/17, with full details of the criteria and process available here.