A talented young IT professional from Burkina Faso has received academic honours in the United States. Mohamed Koanda won the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence at Buffalo State. The Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence honours State University of New York students who been recognised for their integration of academic excellence with other aspects of their lives. Koanda was selected as the top talent out of 1 900 students in his category and is the first Burkinabe to receive the award. The President of Burkina Faso personally congratulated Koanda for his achievement in a tweet. Koanda completed a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems (CIS) and a minor in mathematics from the State University of New York. He arrived in the United States in 2011 without any English skills.