Fifteen West African nationals have received scholarships to study under the Australian prestigious international scholarship programme from January 2016.
Four Ghanaians, six Liberians and five Nigerians received the Australian Government scholarship to study various courses in that country.
Addressing a pre-departure reception at the embassy in Accra, Madam Joana Adamson, the Australian High Commissioner to Ghana, said the award supported committed people who would return home and contribute to the development of their countries.
“So far 615 West Africans have benefitted from the programme which started in 2010 for long term masters awards and short course fellowship awards,” Madam Adamson said.
These include 221 from Ghana, 67 from Sierra Leone, 231 from Nigeria and 96 from Liberia, she said , adding that currently 29 Ghanaians, 13 Liberians and 29 Nigerians were studying in Australia at the post graduate level.
Madam Adamson said the scholarship programme was to help develop human and leadership capabilities that would translate into development for the benefit of the broader community in Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria where the beneficiaries would apply the knowledge acquired in their various countries.
She encouraged women and people from the disadvantaged groups such as the disabled to apply for the awards in the coming years as mechanisms were in place to support those requiring specific assistance.
She said applications for short courses in 2016 would close on December 18, while those for Master’s degree awards would close on November 30.
Samuel Okang-Boye, a beneficiary who works with the Ghana Grains Council, told the Ghana News Agency that he was extremely touched to be selected for an award from the thousands of applicants who applied for the 2016 programme.
He said the investment and trust would in the end provide Ghana an opportunity to improve on its food security.
He thanked the Australian Government for the award and the select committee for making him one of the four beneficiaries from Ghana and encouraged others to apply.
Miss Lydia Amina Acher, the Ambassador for the Ghana Alumni, was full of praise for the scholarship programme.
She said she won an award for the 2010-2011 academic year to pursue Policing Intelligence, Counter Terrorism and International Security Studies and after her training she had been selected by the United Nations to build and strengthen the capacity of the Liberian Immigration Service.
“This achievement would never had come to me without the required training,” she said, and thanked the Australian Government for giving her the opportunity. GNA