Fueling Dreams with Scholarships

CARISCA’s scholarship program provides opportunities for KNUST graduate students in supply chain management. CARISCA scholarship recipient Olivia Adu-Poku is pursuing her master’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at KNUST.

Olivia Adu-Poku (left) with her mother. (Photo courtesy of Olivia Adu-Poku)

Growing up as the first child in a tight-knit family of four, setting the right example for her sister was very important to Olivia Adu-Poku.

“A firstborn carries a lot of responsibilities, my sister looks up to me, she follows my footsteps — my success determines her success and that is why I have to work very hard,” said Adu-Poku.

Being a role model for her sister meant Adu-Poku had to put in a lot of effort in school. 

“I always remember having my nose in a book. In my school magazine, my picture was tagged ‘Olivia is always reading everything, even math.”

Adu-Poku’s mother envisioned her daughters as one day becoming notable women in Ghana and prioritized education as the way to achieving this dream. 

Adu-Poku’s family struggled financially. 

“It was difficult, my mother was a trader and my dad was in the mining sector, money was not very easy to come by,” but her mother’s ongoing encouragement helped Adu-Poku to keep working hard to make her mother proud and graduate from secondary school.

but her mother’s ongoing encouragement helped Adu-Poku to keep working hard to make her mother proud and graduate from secondary school.

Due to financial constraints, Adu-Poku believed that her educational journey would end right after she finished secondary school. 

Through her mother’s sacrifices and words of encouragement, Adu-Poku completed her bachelor’s degree in political science and information studies at the University of Ghana. 

“I am grateful to my mother for her sacrifices and words of encouragement, she is my backbone.”

CARISCA scholarship opens doors to graduate study

Today, Adu-Poku is a beneficiary of CARISCA’s scholarship program, and she is pursuing a Master’s of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at KNUST. CARISCA is awarding scholarships at KNUST to significantly increase the number of supply chain professionals in Ghana with advanced degrees and to provide opportunities to students like Adu-Poku.

Adu-Poku said that it was never part of her plan to get a master’s degree. 

“After my undergraduate studies, I was done, there was no way I could further my education even if I wanted to. At least I had done my best, but thanks to CARISCA, I have the opportunity to pursue a master’s course in logistics and supply chain.”

Some young women in Ghana are wary of pursuing a degree in a male-dominated sector like supply chain management. Adu-Poku, however, has a long-term goal of managing her own cosmetic company, which means she has a keen interest in learning more about supply chain logistics. 

“I am looking forward to managing my own company, I want to learn more about warehousing, logistics and everything else.”

Adu-Poku added, “I want to motivate my sister; I want to prove to her that there is no such thing as a male-dominated field. If you can do something, don’t let your gender define you. Go for it. Little girls should be encouraged to read about and study such programs.”

Adu-Poku believes in the power of talking to young ladies about logistics and supply chain as a profession because it will help them build their interest and passion for the field.

“Thanks to CARISCA, today my mother walks head high; she’s so proud of me and boasts of having a daughter on her way to holding a master’s degree.”

– Olivia Adu-Poku




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