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The Scholars

Fama Jallow

Gambia & University of the Witwatersrand, 2023

Fama Jallow’s academic background is in aerospace engineering. She also has experience in machine learning, robotics, and geographic information systems. She is a space enthusiast who is passionate about the use of space science and technology in Africa. She currently serves as the African Space Education Program Coordinator and National point of contact for the Gambia under the Space Generation Advisory Council, which works in collaboration with the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

Fama is currently Gambia’s first licensed female drone pilot. She is a fellow of the Young African Leader Initiative (YALI), a leadership program run by the United States that supports the continent’s future leaders. She is the co-founder of Unitalks, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire the next generation of future leaders.

Fama, through her studies, hopes to encourage more young women to get into STEM fields and help democratize space in Africa. She believes we are in the middle of a space renaissance, and she wants to help Africa develop its own space market so that it can develop space programs tailored to its specific needs. She believes that by utilizing space applications, Africa will be able to meet some of the Sustainable Development Goals.

DecorationFama Jallow

Could you be a Mandela Rhodes Scholar?

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Could you be a Scholar?


We look for young Africans who have demonstrated the potential to embody our founding principles of reconciliation, education, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

On 1 January 2023, I will be between the age of 19 and 29

I am a citizen of an African country

I have an undergraduate degree with above-average academic results (70% + or Upper Second Class Honours)


We look for young leaders who aspire to the principles below and who have demonstrated the potential to live them out.


Do you aspire to be a visionary leader who has moral authority? Do you see leadership as more than just personal ambition - as a way to pursue the advancement of equality and freedom, human rights and human dignity? And do you want to guide and inspire others to reach their full potential?


Do you admire Nelson Mandela’s ability to bridge historic divides through our common humanity? Do you believe that reconciliation and reparation are the key to transforming our societies so that everyone can have equal opportunity to thrive? And are you prepared to begin by grappling with your own internal divides and difficulties first?


Do you have excellent academic results, but believe that your education should not only benefit you but make a difference to others? And do you understand that intellectual excellence must be accompanied by character and a rounded personality?


Do you want to see Africa take its rightful place as an equal and competitive presence in the global world? Have you demonstrated individual effort, innovation and creativity to this end?


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