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The First Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in African Studies

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Joseph Thukia Wanjiku

Joseph Thukia Wanjiku

Greetings, fellow scholars and enthusiasts of the Great African Continent! I am Wanjiku Joseph Thukia. Born Kenyan. A passionate and dedicated individual eager to embark on an enriching journey in the European Interdisciplinary Master of African Studies (EIMAS) program.

My journey into African studies began during my undergraduate studies, where I pursued a major in Tourism Management and a minor in African tourism-related development critics. This academic endeavor exposed me to the immense diversity of Africa's cultural, political, and economic landscapes. During this time, I realized the gaps in my knowledge about Africa's rich history, multifaceted cultures, and intricate political and economic systems. This attracted me to start a project dubbed 'African Cultural Snapshots.' I gave African students abroad a chance to tell their cultural stories and demystify some of the myths held by the world regarding their cultures. The program later expanded to include Europeans giving their stories, which is a success story for me!

Driven by curiosity and a desire to contribute to Africa's development, I pursued various academic and professional opportunities after graduating. These experiences included training in an NGO in Greece-Youthmakers Hub that focused on bridging Africa and Europe through education. This transformative period, allowed me to witness firsthand the challenges faced by African educational systems, the opportunities available to African students through mobility programs, and the aggressive campaigns and initiatives by grassroots Civil Society Organizations, like WE AfriHug, to link Africa and Europe academically.

Continuing my journey, I delved into research on the African economy: understanding critical components of sustainable development, dissecting the strategic management of enterprises and their business strategies, and criticizing the role of universities in Sustainable Development Goals. In these studies, I have realized African companies' great potential if they follow sustainable business strategies like differentiation and cost-reduction techniques to enhance their optimal performance. I have also actively contributed to projects to foster international exchange programs for students and staff, promote cultural integration, and improve African tourism abroad for Karatina and Kenyatta Universities. These experiences have taught me a profound understanding of the African continent and its people.

Now, standing on the precipice of the EIMAS program, I am thrilled to immerse myself in its interdisciplinary approach, collaborative research opportunities, and commitment to engaging with African communities. The program's emphasis on fieldwork and community involvement resonates deeply with my research, development, and community engagement values and approaches. On the latter, I championed voicing the grievances and opportunities for the university students from my local area through a CSO- Kawaida University Students Welfare Group- and empowering women in Agri-tourism endeavors for their livelihood. Beyond my academic pursuits, I am committed to positively impacting the continent. I envision a future where I can work with development agencies to promote sustainable tourism as a catalyst for economic growth in Africa while respecting the principles of social justice and equity.

 I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from esteemed professors and fellow scholars and to engage in fruitful discussions that will broaden my African perspectives. The EIMAS program's international outlook will enable me to analyze Africa from a global standpoint, complementing my existing knowledge and facilitating comparative analysis. I look forward to collaborating with like-minded people passionate about African studies and Africa. Together, let us explore the intricacies of Africa, unlock its potential, and contribute to a brighter future for the continent and its people.


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