Comments from Participants (Ghana, July 2013)

Reham, Egypt
I am a member of the AAAWE and attended african econometric society conference that was held in Ghana two years ago in addition to a very useful workshop about how to write a published paper. AAAWE association was inviting distinguishued speakers and they helped us very much. In addition , Prof. Elizebeth was really helpful even after the workshop , she always tried her best to keep us all in contact by sending us conferences to attend and fellowships. She is very active in AAAWE and always support us financially and even academically to catch up in our carrers . She is knowledgeable and supportive. She is exerting her best to keep AAAWE association and collect donations to acheive her objective of supporting women african economists everywhere and drive them to the surface I am very lucky to work with her and to stay in touch with her. Based on, i have been in engaged with global development network with a project about informality and i am in the phase of publishing two papers . in addition of another paper about education that has been already published and alt that under her supervision and because of her help. Also , I and professor Mwangi are working in a research project and he is also a member in AAAWE and he is very supportive and mentoring me in the project.

Eme, Nigeria
I participated in AAAWE mentoring workshops in July 2012 at Uganda and July 2013 in Ghana. Both workshops were very inspiring and highly beneficial. It afforded me an opportunity to network with academics and researchers from a various countries. The mentoring sessions were particularly beneficial. For instance, the session chaired by Prof Augustine Fosu exposed me to better writing skills, including, how to write a good research proposal/paper, how to publish my research findings in a reputable journal, amongst other things. As an outcome of the mentoring, my research paper has been accepted for publishing in the Journal of African Development (JAD). It has also afforded me opportunity to participate in visiting scholar programmes in the UK and the United States.

During the workshops, we listened to and interacted with outstanding female economists from various continents. That motivated me to work harder and also become successful. Topics such as balancing career and family life were discussed. This was most useful. The aspect of the mentoring I particularly appreciate is that it goes beyond the workshops. Each young female economist has a senior female economist to mentor her along her career path. For instance, I have had good mentoring from Professors Elizabeth Asiedu (Founder of AAAWE) and Juliet Elu a senior member of AAAWE.

The opportunity AAAWE creates is rare because other organizations I have participated in hardly provide such mentoring opportunities. I am deeply encouraged by AAAWE and I look forward to participating in such workshops in the future.

Eugenie, Burkina Faso
I attended two mentoring workshops organized by the Association for the Advancement of African Women Economists (AAAWE). The first one was held as a side event of the 17th African Econometric Society annual conference in 2012 in Kampala, Uganda. During that workshop I believe I particularly benefited from a session on publication where we were told that resilience is key when trying to publish. Never give even if he takes you 12 years as one of our mentors revealed. This helped me and some colleagues keep pushing for a paper which we finally got published six years after we started it. The second mentoring workshop was held as a side event of the 18th African Econometric Society annual conference in 2013 in Accra, Ghana. I greatly benefited from this workshop in terms of good feedback on a paper I was submitting as part of a larger proposal which was later selected for funding. The mentors and other workshop the participants pointed at a few changes I needed to make to improve my paper.

Asia, Sudan
As a PhD candidate, I had worthwhile experience at the mentoring workshop. Topics covered at the workshop are of great benefits to career development. Specifically, I learnt how to write a good CV, how to write a good research proposal as well as how to write publishable journal articles. As a women economist I acquired very useful tips on balancing career and family life.
I also presented a paper and got good comments through learning by doing with scholar economist, which will improve my skills in writing Journal article/paper in the future. Moreover, I was informed about websites and networks for circulating my working papers. To sum up the workshop is a great opportunity that allows me to interact with young researchers, senior women economist and AES national scholars from other parts of the world who motivated me and have stirred me up to greater altitudes.
On a character side I have a better honor of myself, a vision to create great things, I believe in me and be certain of that everything is possible.
I look forward that AAAWE will receive more funds to realize such event more often and allow the participation of more women.

Malokele, DR Congo
My experience of the Ghana Workshop is summarized in three words: networking, research, and friendship. The particular set up of the workshop allowed me to be among the workshop participants to work with Professor Mwangi wa Githinji of University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Professor Mwangi along with other workshop participants reviewed and commented on my research paper. This process continued even after the end of the workshop. In the workshop, I met African Women Economists from all over the continent that are my proud to call my friends. The workshop enhanced my research ability, strengthened my network but more importantly it expanded my view of the career path available to African women economists both in and outside the continent.

Tolulope, Nigeria
The AAAWE Mentoring workshop was a very rich experience for me. I attended the workshop expecting a regular conference situation however I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out much better. The setting was so relaxing and the participants were a very good mix, ranging from graduate students to professionals, we even had the co-editor of a prestigious international journal present.

The most important part to me was presenting in small groups and getting feedback as well as questions from everyone. It was so well structured; everyone in your group already read your research and had an idea of what you needed to improve on. After the meeting, it was really easy to walk up to other participants and follow-up on any feedback and the mentors were so approachable. The most important lesson I took from the workshop was “know your work” that that phrase has helped me in my research till date.

Dolapo, Ghana
It was the first time that I had been in such a workshop where the focus was to encourage and build both skills and confidence. I had become quite used to working in male-dominated, highly competitive environments where one felt constantly under pressure to perform, and where there was such little allowance for error. It was a welcome change to share my work with a genuine, supportive group at the Ghana workshop. The facilitator of my small group (Professor Kwabena Gyimah-Brempong) and indeed other participants provided insightful and useful feedback on my paper and on those of others present at the session. Indeed, my research work benefitted much from that session, particularly from suggestions on methodologies to incorporate previously un-represented economic sectors and welfare elements to broaden the applicability (and as such usefulness) of the dynamic country economic model that I was then working to build.
On a non-technical front, sessions on the refereeing and editorial process and on writing a good research paper were quite useful, and have influenced my approach since then both to doing research and to getting work published. Last but not least important, the workshop provided an opportunity to catch up with a few old colleagues and to meet with new. Meeting with older women colleagues who are succeeding in the profession was in particular morale-boosting, as was meeting with younger, enthusiastic colleagues. I have collaborated with colleagues that I followed up with from the workshop to participate in/present at an international conference and to get papers published in a special issue of a refereed journal.

The AAAWE has been a most useful association to my professional growth and one that I continue to recommend to women economists in, of, or interested in Africa.