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Ndakuna Fonso Amilou, Oxford’s Rare rising star

Recruitment agency Rare has named the Cameroonian postgrad the country's best black student

Oxford postgraduate student Ndakuna Fonso Amilou has been named the best black student in the UK at the Rare Rising Stars awards for 2016.

Amilou, a postgraduate student at Green Templeton College and the Oxford Internet Institute, was given the top spot on the list of ten black students during a ceremony at the Palace of Westminster on the July 14.

Rare Rising Stars is organised by recruitment agency Rare, which specialises in professional employment for people from ethnic minority backgrounds. Set up eight years ago, it seeks to highlight the exceptional talent of some of the UK’s black students.

The students showcased by the award are selected by a panel of judges, which this year was made up by Tom Chigbo, Adrian Joseph, Trevor Phillips OBE, Jean Tomlin OBE and Labour MP David Lammy, the last of whom presented the award.

Amiou was born in rural Cameroon. After qualifying as a mental health nurse, he moved to London and worked full time for the NHS whilst studying for a degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from Brunel University.

After graduation, he founded a clinic in the Cameroonian village of Bessengue, using his own money to cover the start-up costs. The clinic is now run by one of Amiou’s brothers, also a nurse, and treats over 100 patients a day.

Amiou went on to work for Motorola and Vodaphone before winning the Oxford Pershing Square Graduate Scholarship to study a 1+1 MSc and MBA in Social Science and the Internet. He is the first Cameroonian to attend the Oxford Internet Institute.

Students from Oxford University have often featured on the Rare Rising Stars list in the past. Fourteen Oxford students have been named in the last eight years, three of whom were awarded the top place.

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