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ACBF enables marginalized women gain graduate degrees

24 Mar, 2015

For historical and cultural reasons, African women in general have had limited access to university education which curtailed their ability to get into leadership and decision making positions.  Through scholarships for economically disadvantaged women funded by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), 18 Zambian women were able to graduate in 2012 with bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Gender Studies from the Women’s University in Africa (WUA) based in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Ms. Tamba Tambatamba is one of the beneficiaries whose life changed after receiving the scholarship. Orphaned at a young age, being awarded a degree opened the door for her to become a Site Coordinator for the Population Council.  

“The WUA-ACBF scholarship was a very good thing as it helped me to get a degree in Sociology and Gender Development Studies which is beneficial in that I gained knowledge on issues that I never knew before. I now work for Population Council an International NGO as a Site Coordinator on a Project called Adolescent Girls Empowerment Program (AGEP),” says Ms. Tambatamba.

The Population Council and its partners have implemented a social, health, and economic asset-building program for vulnerable adolescent girls in Zambia.  Ms. Tambatamba supervises mentors that teach rural girls on health, financial education, reproductive health and basic life skills.

“I really appreciate all the assistance that I got as without the WUA-ACBF scholarship I would not be where I am today. My thanks also go to all the Lecturers and staff at the University,” she adds.

The scholarships sponsored by ACBF were awarded in September 2009 under the WUA and the University of Zambia (UNZA) Memorandum of Understanding signed in July 2009.  They covered fees, stipend and accommodation for the first semester of ever year.

Every first semester of an academic year, students attended tuition at WUA and the second semesters were at UNZA through Open Distance Learning (ODL). Students also catered for their own fees at the UNZA. The scholarship program ran from September 2009 to June 2012.

As a step towards transformative change in Africa, the ACBF is keen to support African women with a strong education to articulate and debate issues affecting their communities.

Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana