Since 2014, the Master of Science in Foreign Service program has recruited extraordinary talent in the international affairs field through the Africa Scholarship program. This is just one way that MSFS invites diverse perspectives from around the world to contribute essential knowledge and experience to the Georgetown community. This year, MSFS welcomes the third MSFS Africa Scholarship Recipient, Kwabena Akuamoah-Boateng.
From Ghana, Kwabena brings to the MSFS community years of experience in both the public and non-profit sectors. Most recently, he served as Social Media Assets Manager for the U.S. Embassy to Ghana, creating and implementing the Mission’s engagement strategy as well as liaising with new media organizations. In addition to his time at the embassy, Kwabena co-founded Ghana Decides, a social media campaign around Ghana’s 2012 General Elections to provide information and encourage citizen participation.
The importance of international development has been present in Kwabena’s life since childhood, with memories of USAID vehicles and personnel in his home region, and watching U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Kathryn Robinson on TV opening education projects throughout Ghana. “I was curious to learn why they did what they did,” he says. These memories, along with his interest in politics, led him to study political science in his undergraduate degree. “It has been an exciting journey so far with invaluable experiences.”
These experiences, along with the dedication to sustainable international development, are what drives Kwabena to pursue a graduate degree at Georgetown. “I believe [MSFS] will not only help me to improve my analytical skills and assist me to build upon my professional network, but it will also assist me in achieving my goal of helping to raise Ghana with international astuteness, shrewd analysis and constructive publications,” says Kwabena.
Kwabena seeks to give Ghana and its citizens the global platform they deserve, but also hopes his studies in Washington will help him with his voice as well. When asked what excites him about pursuing his degree here, Kwabena says, “Washington, D.C. is my kind of city. Being the capital of global politics and development, I am eager to attend networking and think-tank events, and find my voice in African politics and policy space.”
This scholarship provides Kwabena the opportunity to pursue his dreams in shaping Ghanaian policy. And being the third recipient, he is up for the challenge. “I am challenged not only to excel and justify why the scholarship should keep running but also to explore new ideas and skills that I can take back home to help transform lives…. In one phrase, the MSFS Africa Scholarship is a life-changer for me,” Kwabena remarks.
The Africa Scholarship is integral to MSFS’s identity of an international affairs program. The program’s values of leadership, creativity, ethics and service can only be truly fulfilled if they are practiced within a community that includes comprehensive, global perspectives. Kwabena exemplifies how scholarship support brings the best talent from all around the world to Georgetown’s campus. “In order to truly offer students and faculty the discourse required in the study of foreign service, there must be a wide range of global voices capable of sharing different points of view respectfully,” he argues. “I seek to deliver to Georgetown University a high return on its investment.”