PHD RainforestEconomics, Africa,

March 27, 2012

Two decades ago, I was learning how to grow crops with rudimentary tools in my native Togo, West Africa, and sleeping in a remote rain forest in a tiny tent covered with leaves and branches. But I was determined to succeed to and attain an education. As a result, ten years ago I graduated from the University XXX with a BA in Economics. Five years ago, I began working for the United States Department of State and ten months ago I began tutoring undergraduate students in Economics for 13 hours a week at XXX University where I will be completing my Masters Degree in Economics this December. My progress slope is positive and increasing. I continue to be very determined to succeed and I now see the Ph.D. within reach. XXX is my first choice for study towards the Ph.D. because, quite simply, I would like to attend the best school in the world.

The only endowment that I was given at birth is my brain and I intend to use it to the fullest extent possible. My long term goals include teaching economics at the university level and doing research that will help improve people's lives in remote areas of the world, especially my native Africa. Since I see economic development as the only way to ameliorate the egregious levels of human suffering that accompany underdevelopment, I see my studies as a moral and spiritual engagement in the service of my fellowman. I am privileged to have this opportunity but I will never forget where I came from. My principal goal in life is to help my people in Africa by working to establish more extensive ties between Africa and the United States in terms of both economic and educational development. I very much look forward to acquiring the most sophisticated and creative research skills available, since I see research as the cutting edge of the way forward towards economic progress.

My current job as a graduate assistant at XXX University has re-affirmed my interest in becoming a university professor. I enjoy interacting with students, helping them comprehend course material, and seeing them excel, explaining the why and the how that undergirds every research topic. It is my hope to become a beneficiary of Project's mission to increase the number of faculty members from underrepresented minority groups in institutions of higher education. In addition to research, teaching and mentoring students and encouraging them to pursue advanced study is my central professional goal in life and I look forward to becoming a role model for younger generations of minority students, especially first-generation immigrants like myself here in America. I want my students to see how Africans can excel when given the opportunity and the tools to do so, and I especially look forward to the privilege of inspiring those students from minority communities, cultivating their self esteem and reinforcing their confidence that they can indeed succeed in very competitive environments. I plan to write my dissertation on the subject of impediments to economic development in Africa, generally speaking, from a comparative perspective, with Togo as a special case study, providing a fresh new perspective on the extremely complex issues related to the question of how to best go about alleviating the grueling poverty of the African masses in a sustainable fashion.

In addition to research and teaching, my long term goals also include establishing an economic development consultancy firm, providing supportive services for businesses genuinely interested in penetrating African markets. As such, upon completing my Ph.D., I hope to obtain a teaching position here in the US that will enable me to utilize and develop the skills and techniques that I will learn in your doctoral program, thus having a springboard from which I will be able to establish my consultancy firm. I want to thank you for your consideration of my application.

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