Education in Africa: Insights from Accra and Lagos Visit

Image: Stakeholder engagement in Accra. Photo supplied by Emma Whitelaw.

Nicola Branson and Emma Whitelaw recently visited Accra to kickstart their G2LM|LIC project on the consequences of educational expansion in Ghana.

Their first stop was the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, where they spent a productive day with Prof. Robert Osei, who is a co-lead on the project, together with Nicola Branson and Vimal Ranchhod.

The agenda included a meeting with colleague Kwadwo Danso-Mensah to consolidate work on wealth inequalities in Ghana – a collaboration between the African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research (ACEIR) with the London School of Economics.

A highlight of the visit was an engagement session with enumerators from the Ghana Socioeconomic Panel Survey (GSPS), an important data source for the G2LM|LIC  project. This interaction provided a platform to share experiences from the South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) and clarified key design aspects of the GSPS that will be used in the construction of the GSPS panel weights.

Beyond work, Emma and Nicola explored the city. From savouring Ghanaian cuisine to exploring the historical and present facets of Ghanaian society, they thoroughly enjoyed vibrant Accra.

Accompanied by Prof. Robert Osei, head of the ACEIR Ghana node, the team then continued to Lagos, to attend the Fourth African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) Biennial Conference hosted by the University of Lagos.

Emma and Nicola facilitated an ACEIR training session for early career researchers on panel data analysis and presented their work on student retention at South African universities in 2020, as well as on employment transitions by educational attainment and gender in Ghana. Prof. Osei participated in a policy roundtable discussion on global challenges and their implications for research at African universities. The team reflect that the time together in Accra and Lagos was a valued opportunity to connect and collaborate.

Image: University of Ghana campus. Credit: Emma Whitelaw.
Image: Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. Credit: Emma Whitelaw.
Image: University of Lagos entrance. Credit: Emma Whitelaw.
Image: ACEIR Training Session. Credit: Emma Whitelaw.