Abdoulie Kurang, a native of Kudang in Central River Region and young academician, has become the first Gambian to receive the prestigious Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s (MIF) Governance for Development in Africa PhD scholarship at SOAS University of London.
The program is a merit-based scholarship open to African nationals to pursue doctoral studies at the said university. Specifically, the Foundation awards scholarships to students with outstanding academic achievements, and research proposal pertaining to governance and development in Africa.
After a very competitive process, Abdoulie Kurang, who until awarded the scholarship, lectures development studies at the University of The Gambia, emerged as one of the 2021 winners of this prestigious scholarship program.
In the same period, he was also awarded the Commonwealth PhD scholarship. Kurang however opted for the MIF scholarship, given his interest in the foundation’s interventions in Africa-related governance and development issues.
Reacting to the news, the Kudang-born academician told The Alkamba Times from London: “It’s a very uplifting feeling, given that I never dreamt of being able to attain university education in the first place. Considering my personal background and being the first-generation university student in my family, winning such a prestigious opportunity means a lot to me.
Elated to begin my PhD program in Development Studies at SOAS University of London. I am honored to be among the two recipients of the 2021 Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Governance for Development in Africa PhD scholarship at SOAS. Joining SOAS has been a longstanding dream given its multi-cultural environment and diverse resources in Southern and (de)coloniality studies. This clearly meets my ambition!”.
Abdoulie grew up in Konjo, a small village near Farafenni. His father, Lamin Kurang originated from Kudang Village. Abdoulie underwent primary school in Challa village (nearby Konjo), and junior and high schools at Farafenni. Immediately after completing high school in 2010, he moved to the Kombos to pursue undergraduate studies at the University of The Gambia. Upon completion of this program in 2014, he won the Collegio Carlo Alberto scholarship program to pursue Master in Public Policy and Social Change in Italy. After the completion of this program in 2015, he returned to The Gambia and served as a lecturer in Development Studies at the University of The Gambia. In 2019, he was awarded the Chevening FCO scholarship to pursue a second Master’s degree in Social Development at the University of Sussex. Upon completion of this program in 2020, he took up a one-year contract as Head of Solutions Mapping with the United Nations Development Programme in The Gambia.