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Sub-Saharan Africa

More than 150 Duke faculty members focus their scholarship, teaching, and outreach on the African continent. At the Sanford School, Professor of the Practice Phyllis Pomerantz started working for the World Bank in 1979 as an economist and rural development specialist. She went on to become leadership posiotions in Southern Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. She now shares her knowledge and experience with students studying international development.

Professor of the Practice Emeritus James Joseph served as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa during Nelson Mandela’s presidency. In 1999, the Republic of South Africa awarded Ambassador Joseph the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor bestowed on a citizen of another country.

In addition, the Duke Center for International Development offers executive education programs and training in finance and tax policy in the region.

And the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy has sponsored the Menell Media Exchange conference in South Africa each summer since 2000.

Raphael Obonyo

"I grew up in a small village in Kenya, an informal settlement called Korogocho. It’s the third largest slum in Kenya. I heard of this scholarship by the Ford Foundation. It was extremely competitive. So I applied for this scholarship, and I got it. And it was a good scholarship because if you got it, you could go to any university in the world, provided you were qualified. Duke was always my first choice. Even if I got the scholarship now, I would still come to Duke." - Raphael Obonyo MPP’13


“Right now in Nigeria, volunteering isn’t so big. We’re still a developing country, so most people are just thinking about how to get through the day. We want to create a culture of volunteerism by making it as easy and fun as possible. We’re also trying to demonstrate impact. So many of our nonprofits are underfunded and understaffed, so even though two hours of volunteer time seems small to us, it’s two hours that they don’t have to pay a professional. If you’re a photographer or an accountant, you can use those skills and put them on your resume. We’re trying to make volunteering a way of life; we want to build a vibrant community of Nigerians who want to change the world.” - Adebimpe Mbang Femi-Oyewo MIDP’18.