I joined the Cambridge MPhil in African Studies programme in order to better understand a continent that has fascinated me for years. While intense and demanding, the MPhil’s unique structure allowed me to gain a firmer understanding of African history and politics, and delve deeper into my subject area: political and conflict dynamics in the Great Lakes region. I found the Swahili language component particularly attractive, given its usefulness in eastern Congo and neighbouring countries. The quality of the Centre of African Studies’ lecturers and supervisors are unparalleled, as is the opportunity to attend the countless regular Africa-related talks across campus, or in nearby London or Oxford.
The programme prepared me well for my post-MPhil career. I am currently working for Oxfam Solidarité (Belgium) in Goma, eastern Congo, managing food security and resilience programmes in six internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, as well as running OSB’s North Kivu provincial office. Prior to this, I was the manager of the rapid response mechanism (RRM) for the French non-governmental organisation ACTED in the Central African Republic (CAR), where I led emergency multisectoral needs assessments and humanitarian aid distribution operations for communities displaced by armed conflict in urban, rural and remote areas. Directly after graduating from the MPhil in 2012, I followed in the footsteps of an alumna of the programme (Nadia Kevlin) and became a research consultant based in Juba, South Sudan, where I carried out numerous quantitative and qualitative field research projects in rural South Sudan, as well as in Puntland in Somalia, for NGOs, the government, and the UN.
I would strongly recommend pursuing the MPhil programme for anyone interested in furthering their understanding of African histories, societies, and politics.