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The First Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in African Studies

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Atta Kwarkye

Atta Kwarkye

My name is Atta Kwarkye, the name "Atta" holds special significance for me, as it means "twin" in the Akan language of Ghana.
​I have lived my entire life in rural Ghana, where I have been deeply rooted in the rich culture and traditions of my community. Growing up in this close-knit environment has shaped my worldview and instilled in me a deep appreciation for community values, hard work, and the importance of mutual support. Living in a rural setting has also sparked my curiosity about the world beyond, motivating me to seek opportunities to broaden my horizons and contribute to the development of my community and beyond.

In the late 1990s, I tragically lost my twin brother to Steven Johnson Syndrome, a devastating illness exacerbated by the poverty and vulnerability in my rural community. This heartbreaking experience served as a catalyst for my unwavering dedication to uplifting my community and addressing the root causes of vulnerability. From a young age, I have been profoundly moved by the socioeconomic disparities and vulnerabilities that persist in rural Africa. Witnessing the resilience and strength of individuals facing these challenges, I became determined to contribute to positive change and empower marginalized communities. I firmly believe that understanding the intricate dynamics of Africa's diverse societies can effectively address the underlying factors that perpetuate vulnerability.

Despite coming from a rural area in Ghana, I refused to let these circumstances hinder my dreams. I defied the odds and completed basic education, even in the face of economic hardship and the pervasive poverty of my surroundings. Throughout my journey, my late father played a pivotal role in supporting my aspirations, encouraging me to pursue my dreams and providing the necessary guidance and resources.

After completing high school education, my commitment to learning and making a difference led me to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where I pursued a degree in Geography and Rural Development. This program provided me with a solid foundation in understanding the social, economic, and environmental dynamics of rural areas. It further strengthened my resolve to advocate for effective policies and initiatives to eliminate vulnerability and uplift rural communities across Africa.

Driven by a profound curiosity about political institutions and their role in shaping development in Africa, I am determined to delve into the intricacies of governance and policymaking. I recognize the importance of understanding the historical context and the evolution of political systems in Africa to effectively address the challenges facing vulnerable communities. In joining the European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies, I am eager to delve into African history, culture, and social structures. I am excited to unravel the rich tapestry of Africa's past, explore its vibrant traditions, and analyze the impacts of colonialism and globalization on the continent. By studying African Studies, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of the historical, political, and cultural complexities that shape Africa today.

Furthermore, I am motivated by the prospect of taking on new challenges. I believe stepping out of our comfort zones and embracing unfamiliar territories is essential for personal growth and professional development. The European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies presents a unique platform for me to engage with scholars, researchers, and fellow students who share my passion for Africa. I look forward to learning from diverse perspectives, engaging in stimulating discussions and pushing the boundaries of my knowledge.

Ultimately, my goal is to utilize the knowledge and skills gained from the European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies to contribute meaningfully to the elimination of vulnerability in Africa. I aspire to engage in research, policy development, and community initiatives that promote social justice, economic empowerment, and sustainable development on the continent. I am eager to collaborate with like-minded individuals and organizations to create lasting impact and foster positive change in Africa. I aspire to combine my academic pursuits with practical engagement to effect positive change. I envision supporting the implementation of policies that prioritize the well-being and development of rural areas. By leveraging my knowledge, experience, and passion, I aim to contribute to the establishment of sustainable and inclusive development practices across the continent.

In summary, my life experiences and indomitable spirit have fueled my dedication to eradicating vulnerability and improving the lives of rural dwellers in Africa. Despite the hardships I faced growing up in a rural community, my unwavering determination, the support of my late father, and my educational journey have shaped me into an advocate for change. Through my studies in Geography and Rural Development and my passion for political institutions, I am well-equipped to make a lasting impact and contribute to the betterment of Africa.

With my tenacity, empathy, and commitment to social justice, I am poised to be a catalyst for transformation, empowering rural communities and fostering sustainable development across the continent. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to be part of the European Interdisciplinary Master African Studies. I am excited to embark on this academic journey, driven by my passion for eliminating vulnerability, my desire to explore African history, and my readiness to embrace new challenges. I am confident that the knowledge, experiences, and connections I gain from this program will equip me to make a meaningful contribution to Africa's future.

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