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28 April 2022
Accelerate Scholarship 2022: UWC Student Comes Out Top
University of the Western Cape (UWC) student Albert Chris Puja has won the prestigious Trade Finance Global (TFG) Accelerate Scholarship 2022 for a stunning trade-related article he penned.

Puja, a teaching assistant and doctoral candidate on campus, beat scores of other contenders from 43 universities across 12 countries to win the $1 000 (about R15 000) grant to help cover the costs of his studies. As part of his prize, his winning article, 'Fintech solutions empower African SMEs with financing alternatives', was published on the Fintech website, a leading global FinTech platform for trade finance and receivables with 6.2 million impressions and 160 000 sessions each month from 187 countries.

“It came as a great surprise when I received the email notifying me that I won this year’s competition. It still feels surreal. I am thankful to TFG for the exciting opportunity and experience,” Puja said. “I must add that this is a very proud moment for me and my other fintech law and regulation doctoral fellows under the supervision of the esteemed Prof Vivienne Lawack at UWC.”

Puja said he also owes a debt of gratitude to the University’s master of laws programme in international trade, business and investment law.

“The programme advanced my knowledge of trade finance and the broader fields of financial law and economic law. I commend the wonderful work of Prof Riekie Wandrag who coordinates the master of laws programme and the various lecturers that teach in the programme.”

Puja, who hails from Nigeria, encouraged other students who are passionate about trade finance and other thematic areas of the TFG Accelerate Scholarship to follow the TGF platform for insightful articles. “If you can (and I encourage that you should), also participate in upcoming editions of the TFG Accelerate Scholarship. It is an exciting experience with so many wonderful opportunities.”

Natasha Roston, head of learning and development at Trade Finance Global, said TFG believes in educating the future leaders in international trade and, with applicants from 43 universities across 12 countries, they believe they are doing just that.

“From articles focusing on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, to the Metaverse, from the role of Fintech to the promises of the WTO, the array of trade insights was exciting. Well done to Albert and all the runners up for your excellent contributions!”

WATCH: A two-part interview with Albert Puja, courtesy UWC's Faculty of Law:

Part 1

Part 2