Student Story
26 August 2019

Studying to Give Back to Zimbabwe

Adil Nyambasha is from Harare, Zimbabwe and is working toward a Master in Development Studies. He is the current Chair of the Afrique Student Association (ASA). 

I was born in Zimbabwe but have spent the better part of the last seven years living abroad. In 2012, I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where I enrolled in the African Leadership Academy’s two-year pre-university diploma program. Upon graduating, I then moved to the United States where I obtained a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Psychology from the University of Rochester. During my undergraduate studies, I also studied abroad in Brussels, where I interned at the European Parliament and took classes at Vesalius College.

What made you want to study development?

When I left Zimbabwe in 2012, the country was still recovering from the 2008 economic crisis and so my initial plan was to eventually secure a high-paying job abroad, convince my family to resettle and lead a new life as an expatriate. However, after studying Afro-centric Entrepreneurial Leadership at African Leadership Academy, and having been afforded a quality college education in the United States, I felt obligated to pursue a degree that would enable me to give back to my home country (and continent) through a career in public service. 

adil nyambasha
I felt that the Master in Development Studies would best equip me with the competencies needed to jumpstart a career within international organisations that promote socioeconomic development on the African continent. 

You are the current Chair of the Afrique Student Association. Can you tell us about your activities related to that?

The Afrique Students Association (ASA) at the Institute is a student-led group that seeks to represent the diversity of African people and culture on campus by promoting interaction and intellectual dialogue between African students, the Graduate Institute’s student and faculty population, as well as International Geneva.

As ASA’s Chair, I am primarily responsible for shaping ASA’s vision for the next academic year by creating an agenda that is both relevant for and inclusive of our diverse membership. A significant part of this involves actively reaching out to professionals within and beyond Geneva to organise more professional development and networking opportunities for our members. I am also responsible for promoting co-sponsorships with other student organisations and being the primary liaison between our association and the Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA), Institute faculty, and our alumni body, among others. 

What do you hope to do after graduation?

Post-graduation, I am hoping to secure a full-time position with an international organisation or a consulting firm that works to promote socioeconomic development on the African continent. I eventually want to return to Zimbabwe and work in a policy advising capacity. I also see myself pursuing a PhD at some point, but this is definitely one of my long-term goals.