Research Officer in International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Studying Geography satisfies my curiosity about the world as the home of man and this led to a desire to pursue geographical studies at the higher level.
Choosing to do a masters in geography was therefore a natural choice after my bachelor in Geography in Ghana. I followed my interest and curiosity.
Studying Geography in Bergen
My best academic memories from studies in Bergen are in the class discussions. Most lecture times were full of discussions of real and practical problems. Both lecturers and my colleague students were very good scholars. Lecture times were great interactive times. I also fondly recollect the discussions with my supervisor on my master thesis. Work on the master thesis can be described as rewarding (although stressful).
Socially, I enjoyed the hiking expeditions (walk a fjell) with staff members in the first few weeks of starting my studies and hiking quickly became a hobby throughout my stay in Bergen. I also had a great time hanging out with a couple of my classmates and doing many exciting things like watching football, going to the cinema and the theater and excursions. It was all great fun!
My master project
I studied the mechanisms of land allocation/access in an irrigation scheme near my hometown in Ghana. I investigated the politics and social processes of resource access among differentiated social actors. I was concerned about how gaps between statutory/formal institutions and local customary practices opens the door for manipulation of rules and exclusion of weaker social groups such as women and young people from accessing key resources and how this could be addressed for equitable resource access and poverty alleviation.
Work as a research officer
I currently work as a research officer in the Ghana Strategy Support Program (GSSP) of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Accra, Ghana. My job description includes fieldwork and data collection, editing and proofreading of manuscripts, desk research and literature reviews, interpreting and analyzing data, facilitation of manuscripts publications etc.
My studies in geography has generally made me more critical and analytical in thinking. It has also considerably increased my understanding of theory and equipped me with useful research techniques that are relevant for my work in conducting desktop and field based research.
Working on my master thesis boosted my confidence for independent work and this has proven to be an asset. The interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature of geographic training is also very essential for my work here as I work mostly with non-geographers (agricultural experts and economists).
Advice to new geography students
Geography is a very practical and useful subject. Studying geography is rewarding in and of itself and also as a gateway to a wide range of career opportunities in diverse fields. Its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature gives you a holistic training. Plus you get great support and assistance from very skilled and dedicated lecturers in Bergen!
I encourage new geography students to approach the subject with a curious and open mind and they would enjoy their studies and acquire useful training for life and career.
Thumbs up to the amazing staff and lecturers of the department of Geography of UiB especially those involved in the Quota scheme and Development Geography program. Kudos to the Development Geography class of 2015. Best classmates ever!