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Current Students

Becky Alton
MA in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh

Whilst my undergraduate degree was an MA in History of Art from the University of Edinburgh (graduating earlier this year), it was during the final two years of my degree that I developed my interest in international development, and a particular focus on Africa.

I have always had a strong interest in health, and have now worked with an NGO focusing on providing access to first aid in sub-Saharan Africa for the past two years. My work has included coordinating expeditions for them in Tanzania, being part of the monitoring and evaluation exercise on the Research team and currently working as the Volunteer Support and Development Officer for the organisation.

I am now very excited to be delving further into the field of International development in Africa, and particularly looking forward to focusing on my main areas of interest: global health and sustainable food production, alongside learning Swahili.

Louise Andrae
BA Development Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden

I'm from Sweden where I did my undergrad in Peace and Development studies. My primary area of interest is the dynamics of peace, conflict and development, although my range of interests stretches well beyond that. Africa was a recurring theme during my BA and was the region that enjoyed studying the most, the more I read the more I wanted to learn. In the autumn 2014 I did an internship with the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the Swedish Agency for Peace, Security and Development, where I got some practical experience working with these issues, particularly international peace operations. I'm excited to continue my studies within the field of development and especially to learn more about Africa!

Ruth Bamidele
MA International Relations Eastern Mediterranean University Famagusta, Cyprus

My interest in intellectual debates in theory, politics and practice of international development through a PhD program but first with MSc focusing on Africa is premised on my passion and natural interest in positively affecting peoples' life for social change, justice and equality.  As change agent, early in life I got enmeshed in activism and advocacy on community development with personal initiatives focusing on women empowerment, support for girl-child education and youth development. I have a background in B.Ed. Adult Education and Community Service from Bayero University Kano, Nigeria and much later MA International Relations from the above University in Eastern Europe.  My personal life experiences intersecting with field work experiences while volunteering with an NGO working on education of rural kids, water and sanitation and malaria prevention in remote communities in Federal Capital Territory Nigeria widens my interest in social infrastructure for rural communities. My research interest is in the area of 'ENERGY POVERTY' and ENERGY SUSTAINABILITY. I am a member of International Studies Association [ISA] and International Association for Community Development [IACD]. Also a retired teacher, independent researcher and conference speaker, I am enjoying the vibrant learning environment in the world class University of Edinburgh with the opportunities it presents studying with staff and students from broad range of socio-cultural and academic backgrounds.

Imane Bendra

I have a background in Business studies (BA) and international relations (MA) with a focus on conflict and military intervention. I got some practical experience while volunteering for a Moroccan NGO, that specialised in children education, and an internship in the European peace university. I want to learn about the complex relations between conflict peace and development in different African countries. My current interests are post conflict, peace-building and the role of education in fostering peace and development.  

Ekua Essien
Political Science at Brock University in Canada

I am from Ghana but I did my undergraduate degree in Political Science at Brock University in Canada. During my studies, I become very interested in International relations and development, with a particular growing interest in the economic development of African countries. My main interest involves the role of China within Africa and how this will transform the international game and affect the overall development of African countries. Ekua Essien

I am from Ghana but I did my undergraduate degree in Political Science at Brock University in Canada. During my studies, I become very interested in International relations and development, with a particular growing interest in the economic development of African countries. My main interest involves the role of China within Africa and how this will transform the international game and affect the overall development of African countries. 

Rosemary Gbonwei
BA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of Benin, Nigeria

I graduated with a BA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of Benin, Nigeria. One year of National Youth Service in a rural area of my country changed the trajectory of my interest. I became interested in alleviating poverty in the rural areas of Africa and this influenced my desire  to pursue an MSc in Africa and International Development at the University of Edinburgh. So basically,  my interest is poverty alleviation in rural areas of Africa.

David Hampden
BSc(Hons) in Computing and Information Systems, Bradford University

I then headed  into a career in the Civil Service in Westminster, with a focus on contract implementation and project management. An alternative route into Africa and International Development I admit, but having been invited to Ghana by a colleague to watch the African Cup of Nations a fire was lit. I've since returned several times and I am now seeking to develop my interest in self-sustained community developments and understanding the difficulties faced within the political structures across the continent.

Immaculate Koigi
BA degree in Economics and International Business from Keele University.

My interest in Africa and its development stems from the fact that I am Kenyan and I have always wanted to understand its political, economic and social structures that influences its development and how that differs from other African countries.

Tessy Maritim
LLB Law University of Manchester 

Tessy is Nairobi born and bred. Her pursuit of the MSc in Africa and International Development is driven by a desire to broaden her global mindset and envision her role(s) in and across Africa. Tessy's current interests lie in gender and energy, resource-conflict resolution, education and activism. She also writes her own blog where she shares her layered experiences as a young, black African woman and how this shapes her perspectives.

Fan Meihui 
University in Tokyo

I'm Meihui. I'm half Chinese and Japanese. I did  my undergraduate degree in international politics and economics in University in Tokyo and also in University of Florida as an exchange student. During my year abroad, I undertook internship in rural development NPO based in Kenya and it motivated me to study further in Master course.My current interest lie in rural empowerment, resource and gender politics in Subsaharan Africa.

Vimbai Midzi
TV Journalism and Political studies, Rhodes University in South Africa

Vimbai is from Zimbabwe and is interested in African economic and institutional development and how it impacts women in Sub-Saharan Africa. She completed her undergraduate degree at Rhodes University in South Africa in TV Journalism and Political studies. Her passions include telling and creating African stories about women, and her research interests are in the informal economy and its potential for emancipatory politics for Zimbabwean women.

Miho Mitobe
Social science at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan 

I studied social science at Kwansei Gakuin University in Japan. I had an opportunity to study Ashanti culture at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana when I was an undergraduate school student. After my first hand experience in Ghana, I decided to study about Africa. I am very interested in child domestic workers (CDWs) in African countries.

Gregory Normand
BA in Music and Study of Religions a few years ago from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies), University of London

Even though it sounds like a strange combination, both subject areas shared a broadly anthropological methodology and a regional focus, plus I got to listen to loads of 60-70s Malian and Guinean dance bands!

During my studies I became increasingly interested in the role new religious movements can and do play in civil society, and the ways this can support and/or challenge the state structures of power and influence. I am also very interested in broader debates around development as a depoliticizing force (Ferguson's Anti-Politics Machine), and how these issues can be addressed in a positive way.

Caitlin Tonkin

Honours degree in Justice and Transformation (specializing in Conflict Resolution) University of Cape Town, South Africa (2014)

I'm interested in community-level processes: how does violence, healing and social repair happen at a grassroots level? (In light of this, it's a bit ironic that I'm doing a MSc in International Development!) I'm also interested in how the environmental crisis links to development, and how that relationship plays itself out at the grassroots level. Having said all that, I am also open to learning about new things to be interested in!

Anna Altés Trenchs
Bachelor degree in International Relations at The Open University (UK)

My name is Anna Altés Trenchs, and I am originally from Spain, but I also worked in Holland, Germany and Sweden during the past nine years as a professional dancer. In 2010, with the intention to pursue a different career, I started a Bachelor degree in International Relations at The Open University (the UK) and followed my online studies at The University of Edinburgh where I did a Pg.Cert. in Africa and International Development. This year I am intending to finish my Master at the University of Edinburgh in combination with the online MA in Refugee Protection and Forded Migration Studies that I am coursing at the University of London Online International Programme. I have a special interest in studying internal displacement and refugees in Africa’s borderlands, and explore complex interrelations between livelihoods, environment, conflict and development. I did an internship in a micro-finance organization in Uganda in 2014 and in the Red Cross EU office (Brussels) in 2015.

Kate Tusha
Degrees in Political Science and French and a minor in Women's Studies, University of Minnesota Duluth in 2014

I graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2014 with degrees in Political Science and French and a minor in Women's Studies. These areas of focus have complemented each other well and they each provide me with a different perspective in my studies. My research has also benefited from having a varied background and has mainly focused on policies and conditions affecting pregnant women in prison. Concepts of motherhood during periods of incarceration interest me greatly and I hope to continue this research with my MSc, in looking next to prison systems in Africa and examining the way motherhood is affected by incarceration, and what aspects of those prison systems can be implemented in other countries to reduce recidivism and affect family structures in a meaningful way. 

Lou Zaïd-Chavanne
Sciences Po Lyon

I am 22 years old from France where I undertook my undergraduate degree in Sciences Po Lyon, a school of political and social science. My interest in African Studies began there, almost by chance, through an optional degree proposed by my university. Excited to learn the theoretical knowledge from a continent that I was not familiar with, I decided to get some field experience by spending a year in Namibia during my final year of my Bachelor's Degree. I did an internship for the French embassy within the political chancellery.

Upon my return in Master, I focused on conflict issues while studying international relations. Thus, I wrote my Master’s thesis on the radicalization process of Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria. I applied for the MSc in African and International Development because I wanted to discover more about development in post-conflict African countries, and the interlinkages between peace building and state building. Also, studying in Edinburgh is a great opportunity to approach the African continent from a British perspective.