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First annual UG Sub-Saharan Africa Master and PhD Award announced

23 May 2024

In 2023, the UG organized its first annual Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) Master and PhD Thesis Awards and the results are now out. The awards aim to encourage UG (research) Master student’s and PhD candidate’s research and writing on sub-Saharan African topics or on a comparative African-European (Dutch) topic, as well as acknowledge the importance of working with Sub-Saharan Africa for the UG.

Judge David Cheruiyot, Assistant Professor and winner Melissa Fatty
Judge David Cheruiyot, Assistant Professor and winner Melissa Fatty

SSA Master Thesis Award

The winner of the SSA Master Award of 2023 is Melissa Maymouna Fatty with her thesis Transforming Peacebuilding Through A Decolonial Feminist Lens: The Case of Sierra Leone. With her thesis, she has won a cash prize of 500 euro.

This is what the jury had to say about Melissa’s Master thesis: 'Melissa’s brilliant thesis meets and exceeds the aim of the Sub-Saharan Africa Master Thesis Awards, which is to recognize excellent research that contributes to scientific knowledge production about, from and for this region. The thesis demonstrates theoretical sharpness in the way it uniquely applies a decolonial feminist approach to interrogate the epistemological tensions in the understanding of peacebuilding in post-conflict Sierra Leone. Through its empirical richness the thesis makes a solid contribution to academic and the contemporary politics of the region amid tensions that range from inclusion/exclusion of voices, conflicting external/internal interests, and the interactions of local/global peace stakeholders. What we find remarkable and important for such a study about Sub-Saharan Africa, is the elaborate articulation of the contribution of the results to a broader global peace discourse, considering how the region is consistently marginalized in global knowledge production.'.

Judge Dr. Charné Theron, one of the judges and winner Désiré Agossou
Judge Dr. Charné Theron, one of the judges and winner Désiré Agossou

SSA PhD Thesis Award

The winner of the SSA PhD Award of 2023 is Désiré Agossou with his thesis New Perspectives on Institutional Intermediaries and Small Business in Developing Countries. With this thesis, Désiré has won a cash prize of 1500 euro.

This is what the jury had to say about Désiré’s PhD thesis: 'Désiré Agossou’s research, pertaining to institutional intermediaries and small businesses in developing countries, provides an in-depth assessment of the intricate relationship and interactions between programs and multiple intermediaries. Beyond its theoretical underpinnings and excellent approach to original quantitative research,  this work holds significant societal implications, particularly in its emphasis on promoting employment and decent work, combating poverty, and addressing gender inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa regions. Désiré’s methodology facilitates the generation of meaningful conclusions that stimulate the scholarly and policy-making debate on how intermediaries’ programs can be designed to better serve the objective of promoting small business in developing countries. Furthermore, his work urges intermediaries, policymakers, and business owners to adopt a holistic perspective, emphasizing the importance of diverse interventions that sustain small enterprise performance. This research also aligns closely with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, amplifying its relevance to the regions’ developmental goals. It offers insightful information to the general audience and other stakeholders, illuminating pathways to better design policy instruments that effectively empower entrepreneurial endeavors in developing nations.'.

It is the above characteristics that warrants recognition to Désiré Agossou’s meritorious efforts and exceptional achievement.

Apply now

Have you written or guided a student who has written and finished their Master or PhD thesis in the academic year 2023-2024 and that is connected to Sub-Saharan Africa? Then we encourage you to apply for the SSA Master and PhDThesis Awards. Please find more information here.

Last modified:23 May 2024 12.05 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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