College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Unisa student shines at the III International Olympiad on Financial Security

Mamello Mofokeng, a BSc in Life Sciences and Business Management student at Unisa, made history in Russia. The Krugersdorp-born, Parys and Vaal-raised student and entrepreneur was the only female in the South African team who achieved the highest scores in the qualifying stage of the III International Olympiad on Financial Security. Of the 12 500 students who wrote the qualifiers, Mofokeng was among the 550 students awarded a life‑changing opportunity to travel to the final stage in Sochi, Russia - a beautiful summer beach resort city nestled within the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains.

The prestigious competition was held from 2 to 6 October 2023, where the brightest minds from 19 countries were to commune, network and innovate collaboratively to rid the world of financial crimes such as money laundering, digital identity theft, financing terrorist activities and more.

South Africa's participation 

Mofokeng formed part of the South African team, which entailed seven participants, one team leader and two coordinators from the University of Pretoria and South Africa Forum for Russian Alumni. These participants were selected to compete with the best of the best from the world. Four students from the South African team competed in the jurisprudence (law) stream. The other three students participated in the economics stream.


Mamello Mofokeng, a BSc in Life Sciences and Business Management student at Unisa

The idea of hosting an Olympiad focusing primarily on financial security was initiated three years ago. Rosfinmonitoring, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the International Educational and Methodological Centre, the Talent and Success Foundation and the Federal Territory of Sirius, are behind the initiative with full support and backing from the Kremlin.

The main goal of the olympiad is to enhance the information, financial and legal literacy of the younger generation whilst searching for talented youth and stimulating educational, cognitive and research activities in financial security.

Raising the Unisa flag high in a passionate spirit of patriotism 

During a busy week of workshops, networking, learning and building bridges, the team found time to experience the finest and most intriguing activities and experiences that Russian tourism can offer — from beach visits to engaging with the locals to a breathtaking experience of Krasnaya Polyana. Team South Africa undoubtedly received exceptional hospitality, support and love in Sochi, Russia, whilst engaging and building relationships with their peers from the 18 nations represented in this year's instalment of the competition.

Mofokeng's participation was a testament to the capabilities of Unisa students and affirmed the university's stature on the global stage. The South African team returned with accreditation and validation for completing training in anti‑money laundering, combating financing terrorism, and using the Graphus system to conduct financial intelligence investigations and regulatory frameworks related to digital currencies. The seven participants were also awarded Diplomas by Yuriy Chikhanchin, the Director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring), RUDN University, Bank of Russia, the government of Russian Federation and other strategic partners.

What's next?


Raising the Unisa flag high as the only South African female student selected to compete at the III International Olympiad on Financial Security

Mofokeng intends to leverage this win to carve out a bright future for herself and other South African youth in new careers in the anti-money laundering and combating financing terrorism, ICT, marketing and science fields. She plans to complete her degree at Unisa and work with the university to increase visibility and highlight students' capabilities. Additionally, after completing her BSc in Life Sciences, she intends to complete a Bachelor of Business Administration at the university and then pursue business, technology and science-related fields to contribute to the enhancement, progression and evolution of the Republic of South Africa.

* By the Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2023/10/17

Unisa Shop