In 2005, Dr Kofi Boakye arrived at University of Cambridge as a graduate student. While at Cambridge and after years of teaching on various summer school programmes, Kofi was surprised at the virtual absence of African students on the annual summer school and degree programmes.
It quickly became clear that the severe underrepresentation of young talents from Africa in Cambridge, Oxford and world class universities is not because of the absence of talents but the lack of information and effective mentorship programme to prepare these young talents to compete favourably for places and scholarships in these universities. And yet, the transformation of any society depends on the capacity to identify its young talents and nurture them to realise their full potential. As a developmental psychologist who received his early education in Ghana, Kofi understands the importance of the formative years and the role of mentors in guiding and inspiring young talents to realise their full potential. And yet opportunity for mentoring for talents in Africa is lacking.
For many years, Kofi inspired and mentored many talents in and outside Africa to realise their potential. But the need to set up a mentorship scheme for young talents in Africa became urgent when Kofi returned from a research trip to Kenya in 2007 where he met two young boys in the slum of Kibera.
In 2012, the Oxbridge Africa Mentorship Programme (OXCAMP) was formally launched. The aim of OXCAMP is simple: to identify young talents in Africa and mentor them to realise their full potential for the benefit of all. We seek to inspire and expose young talents to role models, provide them with relevant educational information and opportunity to forge cross-context dialogue and exchange of knowledge that will help broaden their scope and build their leadership qualities for positive transformation of their communities and the world. We do this through our volunteer mentors and at no cost to the students.
At OXCAMP we believe that every young talent, regardless of gender or family background, deserves the same opportunity to develop for the good of all.