George Boateng, Degree of Master, Ghana, graduated in 2013
First, before applying for the study I considered two things: The content of the aforementioned program, as well the lecturing body; these included Chinese and other nationals with international repute.
Second, I considered the changing global intellectual discourse which favored the program in question.
The reasons above were principal to me joining the International Development program in China Agricultural University.
I learnt a lot from the program as well as from my Chinese lecturers, friends I made in China and colleagues I studied with, both local and international.
The first thing that readily comes to mind is improving on my presentation skills. This was due to the interactive nature of the lectures we received while in CAU. Second was my analytical skill which improved tremendously. Third was my self-confidence and this steamed from my ability to learn a second language and interact favorably with others from different parts of the world. Last but not least is gaining the ability to write good papers and make constructive meaningful intellectual arguments.
Before enrolling at CAU to pursue the Masters program, I worked as a supervisor at an Agricultural institute. Immediately after my graduation from CAU, I got a job at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) as a Research Analyst. My experiences and qualification that I obtained from CAU was vital in securing the position at ACET. It enhanced my resume, my interaction and analytical skills, and more importantly my problem solving and presentation qualities were second to none.
Now,I work as a research analyst at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET). My main responsibilities include:
·Reviewing and summarizing background research
·Data collection and statistical analysis.
·Writing proposals to Donor or Development partners for project funding
·Writing High quality research papers and policy brief.
·Organizing advocacy platforms.
I have achieved a lot in my role as a research analyst at ACET. One of these include being part of a 2 year 5 country project (Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Kenya) whose objective is to increase smallholder productivity and to improve postproduction value (storage, processing, and market access—domestic or foreign) in order to improve the incomes and food security of smallholders, and also to increase agriculture’s contribution to economic transformation. The results of the studies have been shared through individual country launches where local advocacy groups and stakeholders have been identified (e.g. government, farmers, trade associations, academia, etc.). The project was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Another of importance is the project on Agricultural Supply Chains, Growth and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: Where we looked at Market Structure, Farm Constraints and Grass-root Institutions in Africa. It has generated a series of outputs that will benefit policy makers currently seeking improved capabilities to deal with effective competition policy to promote increases in agriculture productivity, solve food security issues, promote agribusiness diversifying exports and increasing trade and competitiveness, and remove some of the constraints faced by poor farmers. This project was sponsored by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
My experiences with some courses I took while in CAU contributed to the outputs of these projects. A good example is Community Based Natural Resource Management. This helped me to understand the needs of local people, and especially farmers while I went into the field to collect data and talk to the locals.
The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) is an economic policy institute supporting Africa’s long-term growth through transformation. ACET assist African governments in accelerating economic growth and transformation by providing high-quality, integrated packages of services including research, advisory services, policy development, capacity-building of government institutions, and advocacy on transformation issues. The vision of ACET is that by 2025 all African countries will drive their own growth and transformation agendas, led by the private sector and supported by capable states with strong institutions and good policies. We work toward this vision through our analysis, advice and advocacy. ACET receives support – both financial and otherwise – from many institutions and governments, most notably the World Bank, the Netherlands Government, DfID, Rockefeller Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, NORAD and the government of Ghana.