Andrew comes from Joseph, Petauke District, a rural area of Zambia. He was brought up to expect to take over his father’s farm. School was unimportant and he only went occasionally so that he could learn to read enough that he would be able to read a letter to a wife. All that changed when his mother passed away and the farm was sold. He was taken to Lusaka to live with an uncle. After several years and a lot of determination from Andrew, he restarted school age 15 in Grade 8. Eventually, he topped his 770 strong school with the school’s best grades.
Andrew has just completed our year long residential programme in Zambia. Here, he talks about some of his research and his hopes for his future.
Africans have been taken advantage of for many years. We are still not quite independent and often depend on foreign government’s help. But this does not have to be the case. I would like to help African countries build better partnerships. Being African doesn’t make you less capable.
Favourite Subject: At school, Biology, Chemistry, but I am really interested in economics and the social sciences. I’m a very curious person, I like learning about the world as it makes me feel a bigger part of it!
Reflective Essay: My topic is how Chinese investment has impacted Zambia’s development over the last 20 years. It has focused on understanding Chinese policies and how they were developed when the Chinese were looking at investing abroad. I have also looked at how Zambia has (or has not) benefited from them.
Hopes for future career: I would like to study Economics and learn about how different economies are interlinked. I am currently applying for universities in the US to study this but have also been accepted by the University of Zambia to study Medicine. As great as this is, the thought of working in a hospital does not make me comfortable and I’d have to adapt to the intensity of it. I am the kind of person who likes to focus on the bigger picture, rather than smaller details, which is why I think Economics would be better suited to me. I’d like to play a part in improving people’s lives in Zambia and think I can so this with Economics. I’ve always found it… hang on, I need to choose a good word here… fascinating, I find it fascinating how some countries are poor and others are rich, and would like to learn how countries and societies can become more equal.
Motivation to work hard: I need to think about this! Hmm… firstly my background. I have seen what human beings are capable of when they realise their power and potential. Secondly, Africans have been taken advantage of for many years now – foreign investors come with their motives and put their interests first. So, it is our responsibility to ensure that we benefit from these. Normally, policies are accepted as ‘good for Africans,’ but I would like to see Africans play a more active role and adapt our policies so that we can benefit from China, not how the Chinese think that we will benefit… we shouldn’t just agree to anything.
Since our independence, Zambians have been dependent on the West and foreign help, but this does not have to be the case. I would like to help African countries become strong partnership countries. Being African doesn’t make you less capable. Africans are always ready to sell each other, but I’d like to see African countries work better together for all of us, as I don’t think that our leaders are currently cautious enough or ready to work together. When Chinese leaders come to Africa, their interests are united, but African leaders are ready to trade each other’s countries. I would like to help African countries build better partnerships, both with each other and with countries beyond Africa.