Twenty-seven Malawians Receive Scholarships and Awards From the Institute of International Education

Scholars and fellows to further education in various fields with the goal of contributing towards transforming Malawi’s agricultural sector.


Malawi, Mar. 23, 2021 – Twenty-seven Malawians have been awarded scholarships by the Institute of International Education (IIE) under their Agricultural Transformation Initiative Fellowship and Scholarship Fund (ATI FSF).  The aim of the ATI FSF is to strengthen the capacity of researchers and professionals in Malawi in high-priority fields that will help the country transform its agricultural sector by reducing dependence on tobacco exports. The ATI FSF is providing 19 scholarships for master’s study and eight awards for postdoctoral research in agriculture, business, data science, economics, ecology/environment, and engineering.

As the world moves away from tobacco use, the ATI FSF seeks to support the ongoing education of Malawian citizens who are dedicated to diversifying and transforming the agricultural sector in Malawi. Awardees pursuing master’s degrees under the ATI FSF Scholars program began their studies this January at higher education institutions in the United States. These institutions include Michigan State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, the University of Kentucky, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the University of Arkansas. For the postdoctoral ATI FSF Fellows, most awards are being pursued in South Africa, primarily hosted by the University of Stellenbosch.

The ATI FSF Fellows and Scholars are some of Malawi’s most accomplished and promising individuals in the areas of academia and they will be addressing how to transform Malawi’s agricultural sector through multiple disciplines. To participate in the program, the Fellows and Scholars submitted an application and were selected through an open and competitive process by an independent committee comprising members from academia and the public and private sectors.

The Fellows and Scholars will play a critical role in the future of their country. As Limbani Chikafutwa, Scholar in the MBA Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology, noted, “these skills will go a long way to impact and bring positive change to people’s lives in Malawi.” Takondwa Moyo, a Scholar in Policy Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, said, “I believe that agricultural transformation, like any transformation, is a result of good policy. Pursuing economics, particularly policy economics, will place me at the front line in helping make evidence-based policies.”

While COVID-19 has required the Fellows and Scholars to start their programs virtually from Malawi, it is expected that they may be able to continue their fellowships and scholarships in person starting in August. Supported through a grant from the Foundation for a Smoke- Free World, the ATI FSF is administered by IIE, with general assistance from the Foundation’s affiliate, the Agricultural Transformation Initiative. Visit the ATI FSF website for more information about the program and each Fellow and Scholar.

About the Institute of International Education

Established in 1919, IIE is a global not-for-profit that creates and implements international education programs, conducts research, and provides life-changing opportunities for students and scholars worldwide. IIE collaborates with a range of corporate, government and foundation partners across the globe to design and manage scholarship, study abroad, workforce training and leadership development programs. IIE has a network of 17 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,450 member institutions. Visit

About the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World

The Foundation for a Smoke-Free World is an independent, US nonprofit 501(c)(3) private foundation committed to reducing deaths and diseases caused by smoking. The Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI) is an affiliate of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World. Recognizing that the Foundation’s mission entails an accelerated decline in global tobacco demand, the ATI aims to diversify tobacco-dependent economies and its work has started in Malawi. The Foundation is funded by annual gifts from PMI Global Services Inc. (“PMI”). The Foundation is independent from PMI and operates in a manner that ensures its independence from the influence of any commercial entity.

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