USAP Alum Charline Chikomo Named Mandela Rhodes Scholar

“From the application process to the two years in the program, the USAP commitment to helping us gain admission to top-tier global institutions with the aim of returning to our communities and effecting positive change was always emphasized. It was made abundantly clear that the pursuit was not driven by prestige or elitism, but rather seen as a token of responsibility. During this time, I realized that high grades and attending prestigious schools alone held little meaning if we didn’t harness our education to uplift our communities.”

Charline Chikomo

Congratulations to Charline Chikomo (USAP ‘16) for receiving the 2024 Mandela Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Development Policy and Practice at the University of Cape Town.

Charline is a Mandela Centennial Scholar who completed his BA (Honors) in Global Challenges from the African Leadership University in Rwanda in 2018. In college he received the Africa Opportunities Award as recognition for his dedication to the continent and motivation for others. Currently, he is working for Ashoka and contributing to Ashoka Young Changemakers initiatives. He manages the 1 Million+ GM and Ashoka Partnership, launching peer-to-peer pilots in Nigeria, and training country teams. Charline is also the founder of the DUCE Leadership Initiative that aims to equip students with the necessary 21st-century skills and knowledge to transition from school to actively contribute to their communities.

Charline Chikomo and Jackie Lumbasi on TheRealTalk, Rwanda TV

“All of these initiatives stemmed from the profound belief instilled in me by USAP: that education is a powerful tool for social transformation.”

Charline Chikomo

Charline chose to pursue this master’s program to gain the knowledge and skills required to bridge the gap between education and economic development. He firmly believes that his grassroots work with the DUCE Leadership Initiative, along with other organizations, has shown him that it is possible to make a significant impact. However, to scale up and effect lasting change, it is essential to advocate for this cause at both government and NGO levels. This degree will serve as a grounding platform for his aspirations. Charline believes that to lead effectively, one must be equipped with the right tools, and this program at Africa’s best university, UCT, aligns perfectly with his mission. With the knowledge and expertise gained from this program, Charline is committed to taking this work to the national level and contributing to the development of his country as an office holder.

We wish Charline all the best as he embarks on his academic and professional journey!

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