Applications open for the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program

December 16, 2019


This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program (HSAFP). HSAFP was established, and is still intended, for mid-career professionals educationally disadvantaged by past laws and resource allocations in South Africa. Individuals who have shown considerable skill in their chosen fields stand to benefit from advanced training, and, it is hoped, can use that advanced training to further South African political, social, and economic progress.

Fellowships are for a year of study in one of Harvard’s Professional Schools or Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with tuition provided by the School. General administrative funds for program management, stipends, and airfare for the fellows are provided by the Office of the President and administered by the Center for African Studies.

Alumni of HSAFP recently looked back on their experience and provided some of the thoughts of their time at Harvard with us:

“My HSAFP experience was a life changing one, it opened my eyes into the leadership and business world. It was the same HBS Professional Leadership Development experience that led me into doing my MBA at the Gordon Institute of Business Science a few years later and pave my way into business.”
- Gcinumzi Qotywa (HSAFP ’07 –’08, Harvard Business School)

“The HSAFP increased my global trajectory and was the springboard for further opportunities such as my former role as Head of Business for Africa at World Economic Forum and being nominated as a Young Global Leader. The reflection and insight gained during the MPA was used in crafting my new book on identity, building trust across diverse communities and inclusion titled My Blood Divides and Unites.”
- Jesmane Boggenpoel (HSAFP ’11-’12, Harvard Kennedy School)

“I am eternally grateful for my HSAFP experience. Being able to attend Harvard and complete my Master of Public Health qualification was life-changing for me. Since returning to South Africa I have been able to work in the Public Health space in senior positions, where I can continue learning and affect real change.”
- Seranne Motilal (HSAFP ’17-’18, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

"As a previously disadvantaged South African, you become accustomed to scarcity and all the challenges that go along with it. For me Harvard opened my mind to the possibility that there are enough resources to make the lives of my community and others like it, better. It was by far the most nourishing environment I've ever been in. For this reason, and so many more, I will always be grateful for this experience.  Another Harvard South Africa Fellow told me that its a year during which everything feels possible. And it definitely was."
- Zeenith Ebrahim (HSAFP '18-'19, Harvard Kennedy School)

“The Harvard South Africa Fellowship is undoubtedly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Through the generosity of the Fellowship, I had the privilege of studying with the most talented people from around the world and taught by inspirational educators who understood the importance of translating intellectual concepts to practice. The Harvard community involves a lifelong network of truly special people who enthusiastically seek out opportunities to champion and support you through every milestone of your professional and personal growth path. At Harvard, you genuinely receive the life learnings and skill-set to be a leader in the most authentic and meaningful way.”
- Roshini Moodley Naidoo (HSAFP ’02-’03, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

"What made the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program special was meeting an array of more than 170 senior leaders, with different backgrounds, from across the world. Gaining new insights from this global network who you relate with for the rest of your life. With approximately 160 case studies, covering numerous organisations, industries, functional areas and many countries, reinforced by independent reading, research, living group discussions, class work on case studies and the opportunity to listen to distinguished external speakers, one leaves Harvard Business School with an improved sense of judgement, broadened perspective and a more well-rounded leader. I am forever grateful to the Harvard South Africa Fellowship Program for selecting me to attend the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program program."
- Morné Edas (HSAFP '12-'13, Harvard Business School)

"Apart from being intellectually stimulated about my own field of interest, my time at Harvard's School of Arts and Sciences provided me with an exceptional networking opportunity, access to cultural resources and an introduction to new areas of research. I was taken out of my comfort zone, and I emerged with a breadth of knowledge and a new confidence that conquered my fear of a blank page. "
- Fatima Cassim (HSAFP '12-'13, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

To date, over 200 fellowships have been awarded to men and women with careers spanning education, law, public health, the arts and humanities, and a host of other professions and disciplines. Upon their return to South Africa, many of the HSAFP fellows have gone on to play prominent roles in their nation and local communities while remaining engaged with the Harvard community in Cambridge, Africa, and beyond.

Applications close on April 15, 2020.

You can read more about the fellowship on the Harvard Center for African Studies HSAFP Page.