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The African Development Bank’s Women’s Network (AfDBWN), in its bid to boost African girls’ access to higher education and as part of its commitment to achieving gender equality, has announced the first laureate of its Women’s Scholarship Fund (WSF), Jeanne Dina Kitoko. The announcement came on the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8.
Jeanne, 17, is Chadian and has lost her father. Her family lives in a remote area of the country. Her ambition is to become a meteorologist and she is currently registered at the Department of Geography at the University of Moundou in Chad. The scholarship will allow her to continue her program and achieve her goal.
Contacted by the Bank’s Communications and External Relations Department, Jeanne expressed gratitude to the Bank Group and said she was glad she was selected for the program. “This scholarship offered to me by AfDB Women’s Network will enable me pursue my higher education, will positively impact my life and that of many other young girls. It is a concrete way to empower less fortunate young women like me, and to promote Africa’s development,” she said.
Jeanne was chosen by a committee, at the end of rigorous selection process. The selection criteria were as follows:
AfDB strongly supports inclusive education policies. AfDB Women’s Network initiative echoes the Bank’s special attention to gender as outlined in its Strategy, and its effective response to qualitatively increase the number of Africa’s women at school, by providing them with appropriate vocational and higher technical education.
AfDB’s Women's Scholarship Fund (WSF), was initiated by the AfDBWN in 2013, and designed as a channel to allow Bank staff to contribute to the development of the continent, and the empowerment of women, through access particularly to higher education. The WSF aims to support the Bank’s efforts to promote inclusive growth, but also to respond to the challenges posed by gender inequality in Africa.