PhD candidates earn Africa research support

Western PhD students Riley Dillon and Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong were named among 10 Africa-based and 10 Canada-based graduate students receiving funding from the Africa Initiative Graduate Research to confront critical issues facing Africa.

“The graduate research program offers bright, up-and-coming scholars on Africa an opportunity to take their research to the next level. Supported students deepen their on-the-ground experience and apply their research in new, cross-continental settings. With this second round of grants, we’re building toward an increased capacity in Canada-Africa research collaboration by fostering important ties with leading researchers and experts in the field,” said Erica Dybenko, Africa Initiative program manager.

Dillon, Ph.D. candidate in the Migration and Ethnic Relations Program within the Department of Geography, completed her master’s degree in Development Studies at the University of Botswana.

Her current research employs geographic theories of gender, migration and development to understand how social and cultural forces shape migrant remittances. She has previously conducted research on Canadian immigration with the Welcoming Communities Initiative and the Central-South Etobicoke Local Immigration Partnership.

Her supported project is entitled, Understanding the sender-receiver relationship in migrant decision-making in Francistown.

Nyantakyi-Frimpong, a Ph.D. candidate in Geography and International Development, holds a bachelor’s degree in development planning from Kwame Nkrumah University and a master’s degree in community and environmental planning from the University of Montana.

His research interests focus on development geography and human-environment interactions, rural livelihood security, global environmental and economic change and tropical agricultural systems. His doctoral dissertation applies a political ecology lens to food security and climate change adaptation in Ghana.

His supported project is entitled, Food security and smallholder farmer adaptation to climate change in Ghana’s Upper-West Region.

Students will detail their findings in backgrounders and research papers made available on the Africa Portal.

The Africa Initiative is a multi-year, donor-supported program led by The Centre for International Governance Innovation, in cooperation with Makerere University and the South African Institute for International Affairs.  It facilitates unique knowledge building and develops policy recommendations for decision makers in Africa by incorporating field-based research, online collaboration, and strategic partnerships.