Name: Kitty Maluwa
Host Institution: Eduardo Mondlane University
Course: Master Of Science Degree In Agricultural Economics
Thesis: Effects of increasing staple food prices on maize market participation and intensity in Malawi
My experience at Eduardo Mondlane University- Mozambique Maputo
First I would like to thank the Intra ACP share capacity program for this priceless opportunity of a scholarship award to study in Maputo. I would like to thank the administrative and coordinating for the help rendered from travelling to making sure my stay in Mozambique was at least comfortable. I would also like to thank RUFORUM staff for their support during my stay in Maputo. For helping us secure research funds through Field attachment Program (FAPA)
It’s been a very interesting journey. I arrived in Maputo from Malawi o the 20th January, 2014. I was anxious because I did not know much Portuguese. This was the first time I was going to stay out of Malawi without my family or any friends. I was welcomed warmly at the airport by the Share coordinator and one administrative staff from the faculty. A week after my arrival in Mozambique I was told by the Coordinator that studies will commence on 17th February, 2014. The three weeks were spent relaxing getting to know a little Portuguese, familiarising myself in the beautiful city. Being Malawian, gave me an advantage to adapt easily as the food and culture is somewhat similar. There was no need to adjust to the food. However it took me a year to adjust to the hot humid weather of Maputo.
When studies started we were offered Portuguese lessons for four months. The lessons were properly delivered and academically I did not face many challenges. The academic staffs were dedicated like I have never seen before. I can use my fingers to count the number of times we did not have lessons due to lectures not showing up in class. Even though this was the first time for the department to offer English lessons, we were not treated any different from our colleagues pursing the same course in Portuguese. Their doors were always open ready to assist us.
My favourite academic experience was the weekly seminars we had o every Wednesday. Interesting topics related to our various field of study were made ad in the end we were to make summarise the presentations, findings and evaluate critically the results. This encouraged me to read more on emerging topic in agricultural economics field. Sometimes students would make presentations based on-going research subjects in their countries. This helped me to improve on presentation skill.
The academic skills gained from the program will help me in my career as an agricultural economist to tackle other policy issues that I could not have tackled earlier on. During the course we had a course on project simulation undertaken in rural Mozambique. There I learnt not only research methodology but other techniques in agricultural economics like management skills. From the report produced by the project simulation a paper was published on the comparative advantage of tomato production in Moamba Maputo which will add weight on my CV. I have made friends with colleagues from different cultural backgrounds. The connections made were beyond academic as some have become business partners.
My thesis was on the effects of increasing food prices on maize market participation and intensity in Malawi. My research supervisor helped me through out with immense and practical advice. Through the process I have learnt so much and it is evident that my research career in Malawi will never be the same.