Merit Scholars graduate from the Global Development Institute

Six students from Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana are the first to receive the Merit awards.

The first class of the Global Development Institute (GDI) Merit Scholars graduate as part of the winter 2019 graduating class. The students were chosen from over 2,700 applicants and joined the GDI in September 2018 from Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana. 

The GDI Merit Awards covered the student’s tuition fees, living expenses, flights to the UK, and visas. The awards are open to students from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe and are split across the GDI’s research specialisms. The second set of GDI merit scholars joined in September 2019 and will graduate in December 2020. The third GDI Merit Awards will be open for applications in the New Year.

Studying at the GDI

Now the students have completed their courses, we asked them to share their reflections on studying with us and what they plan on doing next.

Esther Iminzah Ndagala, Kenya 
Studied: International Development: Politics, Governance and Development Policy

"Rather than being sad or regretting that my Manchester stay is already over, my heart is contented. Despite the uncertainty that lies ahead, I can't be more grateful for the opportunity that GDI granted me. Whatever the future holds might still be blurry, but I am hopeful still."

Justin Tusoe, Ghana
Studied: Development Economics and Policy

"My experience at GDI has been amazing. Unlike other universities, the Development Economics at GDI is a blend of economics and public policy which is very essential for every Development Economist. Also, the programme has exposed me to why poverty and other economic challenges persist in many developing countries despite their abundant resources."

Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng, Ghana
Studied: International Development: Globalisation, Trade and Industry

"First, don't approach your studies as if you are in competition with anyone. Take your education as a learning process and learn from the process. Challenge your lecturers and your course mates with taught provoking and unconventional questions on development to help you all learn. Secondly, do not take what you are taught in wholesale. Make sure you understand what you are taught in context because I would argue that development doesn't have a prescribed formula. Try to also place what you are taught in class in the context of your country or organisation and ask questions from that context to gain the needed context-based understanding."

What next?


"I'm going back to Kenya to pick up where I left off in my career and with the belief that I will be able to seek after better opportunities as I continue to send job applications across organisations as this was an opportunity to better myself at a personal, academic and professional level. More importantly, be a GDI Merit ambassador."


"My first preference is to obtain a PhD within the next five years. However, I am also looking out for opportunities to work as an Economist at the Bank of Ghana or the African Development Bank."


"I am currently working full-time as the General Secretary of The University of Manchester Students Union till June 30th 2020. In the short-term, I look forward to working with firms which operate within the agricultural value chains (especially Cocoa-chocolate value chain) or Small Medium Enterprise (SME) development for local artisans in developing countries. In the long-term am looking forward to consulting for local artisans in the area of integrating them into the global value chain of the sector they operate in."

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