Samira Mohammed Ibn Moro

Studying: MSc in African Studies

As the first ever St Antony’s DAC Scholarship recipient, Samira Mohammed Ibn Moro shares why she chose to study for an MSc in African Studies and what the scholarship means to her.

I was born in Bolgatanga in the Upper East region, one of the regions in the northern belt of Ghana. Generally, the northern belt is structurally patriarchal and culturally encourages the structural subjugation of women which upholds gender inequalities. The northern belt, which comprises five regions, is home to the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, child marriages, about six witch camps holding over 800 women and 500 children, an average of 26,580 teenage pregnancies annually, translating into 72 teenage pregnancies daily in 2020 among other heart-breaking occurrences. Passionate to see change, I enrolled in The Ghana Institute of Journalism and opted to study Communication studies with a major in journalism as the media was an effective tool of change.

I graduated in April 2022, with first-class honours and doubled as the overall best graduating student in Journalism(top-up) from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. I then reckoned that I needed a deeper understanding of diverse factors peculiar to the African continent and to seek holistic pragmatic solutions for gender inequalities and other important issues in Africa. This informed my decision to apply for an MSc in African studies at the University of Oxford.

Earning a Master’s degree in African Studies from Oxford university will broaden my scope in understanding the intricacies of African politics, history, general geopolitics, and the processes involved in negotiating collective actions for global responses to existing or emerging challenges in Africa.

My research interests are rooted in my curiosity to understand the intersectional dependency between gender and development, African geopolitics, and media relations in contemporary Ghana and Africa. This is fueled by my lifelong passion to enhance sustainable structures to mitigate the feminisation of witchcraft accusations and lynching predominant in the northern belt of Ghana through research and further anthropological and institutional establishment of informed pragmatic solutions. 

In the next year, I look forward to learning with and from the incredibly diverse international community at St. Antony’s College and the African Studies Centre while being exposed to empirical solution-oriented African theories, that will help shape me into a global scholar-activist with a specific focus on Africa.

After completing my MSc in African studies, I intend to pursue a doctorate in African studies while continuing to serve the people of my home country, Ghana, as a journalist through traditional and new media, with a much firmer grasp and understanding of the primary issues that affect Ghanaians, particularly children, and women.

The DAC scholarship is the foundational dais that holds my dreams, it is the most important and brightest light at the beginning of my Oxford journey, it is my testimony. Being the first-ever recipient is incredibly overwhelming and inspiring at the same time. I am grateful to the sponsors of the scholarship and St. Antony’s college for such a life-altering opportunity.