By Devon Bidjou, MUTV-23 News reporter


COLUMBIA – Focus On Africa is a series put on by the Division of Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity and CAFNR International Programs that has occurred each month during the semester since 2015. This series purpose is to encourage Mizzou students with an interest in worldwide topics to “stimulate each other’s thinking,” and “potentially lead to the creation of a broader research network and joint scholarship.”

Since 2015, Focus On Africa has been an innovative way to “build intersections between the life sciences and human cultures,” as described by their mission statement. About once a month, different speakers are picked by Mizzou to present their specific topic in a “blitz format” where they show and reflect upon their research for 15-20 minutes, then allow for the audience to answer questions. 

Stephen Frimpong, a Mizzou doctoral student studying agricultural & applied economics, was the most recent digital keynote speaker. Last Wednesday, he spoke on topics such as economic development and colonization by presenting a representative model demonstrating the toll that certain historical events can have on certain facets of the economy. 

Officially titled “Comparative Underdevelopment and Concomitance of Weak Institutions and Property Rights from Colonial Origins,” Mr. Frimpong’s words of expertise stem from years of valuable experience from various roles in development policy. Specifically, he served as a socioeconomic and innovation platform lead on the Africa RISING Project at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture as well as being a national focal person for multiple sectors of the Food and Agriculture Organization. 

If you are interested in taking part in one of the upcoming events or would simply like to receive further information about the organization, please check out the links below. 


Edited by Rachel Henderson

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