Dr Lewis Abedi Asante reflects on how funding for his LSE master’s set him on a path to a PhD, and his work to make society a better place.
“My work on urban governance in Ghana focuses on its huge open-air markets, where most people still buy their food. Crumbling colonial-era structures and public health concerns have made regenerating them a priority, but citizens often resist redevelopment by local authorities because the process is rarely consultative. I am working to change this.
Redevelopment affects stakeholders often in ways that the government does not anticipate; for example, women trying to earn their economic independence as market traders. When a market is being redeveloped, many traders can lose not only their wages but their capital. So anything that affects the market can affect women, their families, and by extension, our society.
Involved citizenry, awareness of rising inequality, and how the poor struggle to meet their livelihood needs, are some of the concepts I learnt at LSE that I’m passing on to the younger generation through my lecturing role at the Kumasi Technical University in Ghana. My students are intelligent, curious and ambitious, and I hope through my teaching to support their dreams to succeed, and to make our society a better place.
Development at LSE
As a student, the first time I left Ghana was to come to LSE, and that was entirely because of the scholarship funding. It was an enormous help. If not for this, I could not have imagined being able to pay for fees, which were £14,000 at the time; not to talk about my accommodation and my sustenance in London.
At LSE, I learnt about development concepts at a deeper level than I had encountered before. While I was really lost at first, because so many things felt new, I soon adjusted. And, more than the education, being at LSE exposed me to the outside world. I met many people from diverse backgrounds; my colleagues and friends at the time were from India, France, Germany and many other places. I gained confidence from my time at LSE, and a few years after I returned to Ghana, I decided to build on my master’s with a PhD at the Humboldt Universitat zu Berlin in Germany.
Striving for excellence
Everywhere I go, when I introduce myself as an LSE graduate people see me differently. I am not only representing my own abilities and qualifications, but also carrying the excellence and prestige of our School.
I would say this to our current LSE students and graduates – we are representing our School and will always be a part of the LSE community, so we should always strive for excellence, and mustn’t take anything for granted. And everywhere we go, whatever we do, contribute to whatever community you find yourself a part of.”
Dr Lewis Abedi Asante, MSc Urbanisation and Development, 2011
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