Samira Mohammed Ibn Moro has become the first-ever DAC Scholarship recipient to St Antony’s at Oxford university. The St Antony’s DAC Scholarship, established by the Governing Board of Oxford University in October 2021, aims to help undergraduate students in nations that receive development assistance (as identified by the OECD) reach their academic potential, regardless of their upbringing or financial situation.
Samira, who was raised in Bolgatanga in the Upper East region of Ghana, is adamant that outdated cultural customs be changed so that the region can advance. An advocate for women’s rights, Samira says earning an MSc in African Studies at Oxford University would help her gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects that are unique to the African continent and offer a comprehensive, practical solution to gender inequality and other significant cultural problems in Africa.
Samira earned First-Class honors and was the top graduating journalism student from the Ghana Institute of Journalism in April 2022. (Top-up option). After receiving her MSc, she wants to continue working as a journalist for the people of Ghana while also pursuing a doctorate in African studies.
In an interview with Face2Face Africa she had this to say:
Can you give a brief introduction about your background?
My name is Samira Mohammed Ibn Moro. I was born in Bolgatanga in the upper east region. It all started in Bolgatanga for me because I started my education there and I moved to Accra when I was in class three. This particular move wasn’t easy moving from a public school to a private school. This shift for me wasn’t easy because I was bullied, I had issues with my spelling in class and so at a point, I had to repeat the class. A teacher took a special interest in me and helped me academically and since then I haven’t looked back.
You studied journalism at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. What informed that decision?
My passion drove me to GIJ. I believe the media is a strong tool for change and I’m a development enthusiast as well. GIJ offers most of these courses. So, I decided to come to GIJ because I want to be a journalist and not just that, I like the combination of communication studies and this was in sync with my long-term plan, I decided to come to GIJ.
What motivates you?
First of all, my late father. I lost him when I was fourteen and as the only child, there was this responsibility bestowed on me to ensure that his name doesn’t die. And as a girl child, I have to do it two or three times to stay relevant. So, I add my dream and my late father’s dream as motivating factors. He keeps me moving
Can you take me through the entire process and challenges you faced while trying to acquire this scholarship?
I was asked to send my transcripts and a couple of materials. I think a lot of people applied but by God’s grace, I got it. I put in a lot of hard work I must say, knowing I didn’t want to have my masters in Ghana, it had always been in my plan.
What are you going to study at Oxford university?
I am going to offer a master of science in African Studies
Why African studies?
It is because I’m African first before I’m Ghanaian, it is important to understand the various dynamics that hold the African continent together. Also, it feeds into my long-term passion for academia.
What does this win mean to you? Being the first recipient ever to get it.
Sometimes I still can’t believe it, it means a lot to me.
What’s the plan after completing your MSc?
I look forward to getting a doctorate after my MSc.
What do you have to say to women who are reading this and are motivated by your achievements?
Everyone should follow their dreams, nothing is impossible, and big things can happen from little things, don’t despise little beginnings.