Ghanaian engineer Yaw Boadi Asante and Nigerian programmer Rotimi Tijani have won the prestigious University of William & Mary Master of Business Administration (MBA) scholarship to study at the university’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business in Virginia.
Powered by The Knowledge Channel (TKC) Africa, a boutique business and investment consulting firm which is the Africa-wide partner for top tier US, European and Canadian university MBA programs, the two were selected out of dozens of applicants from the two countries for their outstanding applications.
Yaw Boadi Asante, the winner from Ghana is an open-minded, energetic and versatile individual with a practical approach to problem-solving and the passion to continuously learn and improve. Working as an engineer with Halliburton over the past 3 years in the upstream oil and gas services sector, he has successfully led the execution of jobs offshore, workshop activities and job design with the Wellbore Service Tools Sub Product Service Line. He is constantly seeking to make a positive impact on the oil and gas industry in Ghana and beyond.
The Nigerian winner, Rotimi is an enthusiastic go-getter who loves to test new ideas and build new things. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. As an undergraduate, he taught himself web design, programming and database management and as a result, he spent the first few years of this career-building software tools for government agencies in Nigeria.
Rotimi has always been interested in contributing to the development of Nigeria and Africa and so after working several jobs in Information Technology, he made a switch to business. In 2013, he started a company that would employ and train hundreds of Nigerian youth as part of a decentralized virtual clothing retail chain. The goal was to give young Nigerians a means of making an income while creating a nationwide retail chain for clothing. However, due to infrastructural and financial constraints, the business was shut down.
In 2016, Rotimi co-founded Wow Braids, a social enterprise that enables poor women in Northern Nigeria to earn money by making braided wigs which are then sold in the US and Europe. So far, Wow Braids has directly impacted up to 600 women by increasing their average income from less than $2 a day to $10 daily, and as a result, these women can now afford basic health care, food and school fees for their children.
Rotimi continues to look for avenues to bridge the economic divide between Africa and the rest of the world and is currently pursuing an MBA to gain more formal business knowledge and international experience which will help him on his mission to unlock the vast human and natural resources in Africa.
TKC Africa, which was established in 2010 by Hannah B. Acquah, is focused on raising the next generation of African leaders. It has consulted for over 30 companies and advised on projects with a total financial value in excess of $30 million.
In March 2019, TKC Africa partnered with the University of California, Riverside’s (UCR) Business School to organize the inaugural MBA Scholarship Competition worth $120,000 for Ghanaian and Nigerian citizens. The competition saw over 300 applications with one winner each from Ghana and Nigeria.
The 2019 UCR winners were Ms. Felicia Ansah and Mr. Aniedi Felix Effiong from Ghana and Nigeria, respectively. They were each awarded scholarship as a result of their outstanding application and high GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) scores.