My Award Winning Presentation at the Fourth African Graduate Student Association Conference, Michigan State


September 28, 2019 - <$authorEmail>

Highlights 57, Chukwudi Charles Olumba, September 2019.

The African Graduate Student Association’s (AGSA) Annual Research Conference provides a forum for graduate students working on African issues. The students share ideas arising from research and deliberate on ways and strategies for transforming Africa.

The Fourth Annual Conference was sponsored by the Alliance for African Partnership, in collaboration with the African Studies Center. The conference hosted over 50 educators, academics, researchers and entrepreneurs and was held at the beautiful Kellogg Hotel of Michigan State on March 29, 2019. The conference theme builds upon past AGSA conferences by interrogating;

  • How localized activities in different spaces (on the continent and in the diaspora) were transforming Africa in the global context.
  • What are the continent's future challenges and prospects.

Scholars who wished to present or give lighting talks at the conference were asked to submit an abstract for review. The submitted abstract were screened based on:

  • The quality of writing;
  • Data, methods, and analytical precision;
  • Contribution to literature; and
  • Novelty of the work and integration of research with policy

I and the other two Visiting Scholars from Nigeria, had our papers successfully pass through the competitive selection processes. Thanks to the constructive edits by the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project (NAPP) team.

At the opening of the Conference, the Key note speaker, H.E. Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, African Union Ambassador to the USA, delivered her speech on the theme, “Local Action to Global Impact: Transforming Africa through Localized Efforts”. The other featured guest speakers at the conference were Dr. Ike Iyioke (Center for Interdisciplinary Research, MSU) and Dr. Zelia Menete (CEO Foundation for Community Development). They both gave talks on “African philosophical ideas as bases for ‘proactive dialogue’” and “Local action and building resilient communities: youth, women and development” respectively.

Presentations at the AGSA conference were interactive, educational and competitive (awards for the best presenters). At the end of the nearly 30 oral presentations, my presentation was selected as the “Best Oral Presentation”. My study on “Gendered Food Security in Urban Nigeria: Does Household Headship Matter?” built upon the outcomes of previous studies addressing gender inequality in agriculture and it sought to promote gender equity in the local food system. The study employed a nonlinear BlinderOaxaca decomposition analysis to investigate the link between household head gender and household food security status in urban Nigeria. The analysis revealed a 15.1% gap between the food security status of female-headed households and male-headed households. These findings have important implications for policy makers who seek socially inclusive growth.

Truth be told, the conference was really enlightening. It was a valuable opportunity to learn from other scholars, and discover new methods of study and research and as well as initiate collaborative studies.



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