Name: SODEDJI KPEDETIN ARIEL FREJUS
Host Institution: MAKERERE UNIVERSITY
Course: DEGREE OF MASTERS OF SCIENCES IN PLANT BREEDING AND SEED SYSTEMS
Thesis: ANALYSIS OF PROVITAMIN-A MAIZE FOR YIELD STABILITY AND RESISTANCE TO STORAGE WEEVIL [Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky]
I am Frejus Kpedetin Ariel SODEDJI. In 2013, I was granted scholarship under the Share Intra-ACP Project for a Master programme in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems at Makerere University.
On September 27, 2013, I travelled from Benin, a small country in West Africa to have my very first experience of studying abroad in Uganda. I was more worried than excited asking myself many questions (How are people over there? How should one excel in this programme and pave a way for a very brilliant career? etc.) which could only have their answers once in Uganda.
On my arrival in Uganda, I received a very warm welcome form the project coordination in Uganda. I was accommodated in the postgraduate hall inside the University. This is a very safe place where an international student could stay and get opportunity not only to access the universities facilities but also be embedded with postgraduate students’ activities. It is worth to highlight here that this arrangement made by the project coordination has been of a great help to me in term of social and academics integration.
The following Monday of my arrival, I was introduced to the Head of Department of Agricultural production, and this was how began my studies at the college of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Makerere University. The course work went on very well although very challenging in regard to the instruction language and the curricula which includes some course units shared between programmes and or departments.
After the first semester, with the help of the course coordinator, I was connected to the National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) in Uganda for my research. I was received in the Cereal Programme at NaCRRI as a pioneer student in the breeding programme for Provitamin-A maize varieties in Uganda. My research focused on analysis of provitamin-A maize for Yield and Resistance to Storage weevils in Provitamin-A maize germplasm. I was assigned a very skillful supervisors who lovely helped me to successfully carry out my research. This was an opportunity to improve on how to collaborate with other researchers and be well acquainted with specific tools and methods of my disciplines. Meanwhile, I had also to challenge myself in going through a highly demanding research experience where there is a need to leverage limited resources to deliver timely and good research outputs.
Overall, this scholarship scheme enabled me to study in a well-designed regional programme, meet other cultures and broaden my network. It has helped me to improve my English and get a very good exposure. This experience was very interesting and full of knowledge and I found answer to the questions that I had in mind before starting my journey to Uganda. The scholarship has shaped my career and given me a better life. This is something everyone would like to experience in their life time.
Long life to EU, RUFORUM, NaCRRI, Makerere University, Prof. Paul Kibwika and Prof. Achille Assogbadjo (Intra-ACP project Coordinators in Uganda and Benin, respectively), Ms. Dorcas Loga Okello (Share Intra-ACP Project Manager), my supervisors Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa and Dr. Godfrey Asea, and the Coordinators/facilitators of the Regional MSc. Programme in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems, I named here Dr. Richard Edema, Dr. Mildred Ochwo Ssemakula and Prof. Paul Gibson.