Building Expertise to Articulate Africa’s Potential and Promise

Jonathan Eigege
MA ’18
African Studies

Prior to Johns Hopkins SAIS, Jonathan was a full-time intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG), where he is currently a part-time consultant while he attends school. His supervisors, who impressed him as true experts with a deep understanding of the issues and dilemmas that characterize the African continent, were African Studies Program graduates. As a result, Jonathan visited the African Studies Department and was convinced that the school offered a perfect graduate program for him. He was looking for academic research opportunities and sought to study and gain the vocabulary to articulate Africa’s potential and promise, not just its perils and inadequacies.

While at Johns Hopkins SAIS, Jonathan has had the experience of working as a Graduate Research Assistant for Professor Paul Lubeck, the Director of the African Studies Program. Their work seeks to understand Nigeria’s indigenous capitalists and industrialists, the evolution of their firms, and the implications of this structural evolution for Nigeria’s growth. They are co-authoring a chapter for the Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics, which discusses their research findings and features case studies on the indigenous firms.

After graduating, Jonathan wants to return to Nigeria and work at the nexus of Nigeria’s public and private sectors. He strongly believes in the role of the interlocutors – people who can speak the language of business and politics to identify common ground and illuminate mutual benefits for both sectors. Jonathan believes that a Johns Hopkins SAIS degree, with its strong regional focus and sound economic core, has prepared him to work towards fast-tracking development in his home country.