The founding Chairman of Zenith Bank has announced the establishment of a new $2 million scholarship program, The Jim Ovia Foundation Leaders Scholarship Fund, in partnership with the Africa-America Institute (AAI).
The two million dollar pledge will finance four-year degree programs for high-achieving African students to attend world-class institutions around the globe. The announcement came during the 33rd Annual AAI Awards Gala in New York.
“The Jim Ovia Foundation Leaders Fund is designed to be a definitive platform that will have an exponential impact in creating a better, brighter future for young Africans,” Kofi Appenteng, CEO and President of the AAI said. “With AAI’s 65-year tenure administering scholarship and deploying development capital for transformative results, we are honored to work together with the Mr. Ovia and his team.”
Following the announcement of the new scholarship, Ovia said: “I have always been deeply committed to transforming higher education in Africa. We need to collectively empower young people and create a network of future leaders and game changers that can propel our continent forward. This fund, and this partnership with AAI are part of my continued dedication.”
The Jim Ovia Leaders Scholarship Fund will expand access to education by providing scholarships to young and talented Africans who are under-resourced, from marginalized communities and those who would be the first in their family to attend university. The Fund is an important initiative that will leave a lasting impact on the next generation of Africans.
The scholarship program follows a long-standing commitment from the Jim Ovia Foundation in investing in the youth and excellence in education. In partnership with the Africa America Institute, scholarships under the Fund will become available at the beginning of 2018. This marks a seminal moment for AAI with its rich tradition of building leaders in various sectors across the continent, and for Zenith Bank as it continues its global expansion, the new partners said.
With headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, Zenith Bank Plc has over 500 branches and business offices in prime commercial centers in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. In March 2007, Zenith Bank was licensed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) of the United Kingdom to establish Zenith Bank (UK) Ltd. as the UK subsidiary of Zenith Bank Plc.
Founded in 1953, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is a U.S.-based international organization dedicated to strengthening human capacity of Africans and promoting the continent’s development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, program implementation and management.