Alumni Services

September 2018

Our bumper crop of alumni profiles this month features graduates with ties to Africa through their background, work or research interests.

Growing ties with Africa

In 1859, James Africanus Beale Horton from Sierra Leone completed his MD (Medical Doctor), becoming Edinburgh's first African graduate. Today, the University is home to over 800 students from 37 African countries and counts over 3,000 alumni living in Africa. 

As the University prepares to celebrate Africa Week on campus from 21- 29 October 2018, we highlight alumni with connections to the continent, either through nationality (Kenya, Malawi, Ghana and South Africa) or research interests ranging from infectious diseases to nomadism.

Seth Amanfo

Seth Amanfo

Expertise in infectious disease research and a PhD scholarship drew Dr Seth Amanfo to Edinburgh. Still based at the University, the 2018 graduate now helps to manage a £7 million global health research programme, Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa (TIBA).

Read Dr Seth Amanfo's profile.


The highlight of my current role was to represent TIBA at the 68th session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Committee in Dakar, Senegal (27-31 August 2018). This meeting was attended by Ministers of Health and delegations from 47 African countries as well as international stakeholders with interest in health.

Dr Seth AmanfoResearch Coordinator, TIBA, The University of Edinburgh

Farhana Jiwa

Farhana Jiwa

Growing up in Kenya, Farhana Jiwa developed a desire to improve people’s quality of life through architecture. Since graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, Farhana has gone on to work on a variety of projects as an Architectural Assistant.

Read Farhana Jiwa's profile.

My undergraduate study at Edinburgh was a rich learning experience, with the city’s fabric being a strong inspiration for my creative endeavours. Being a part of this institution has allowed me to further appreciate the breadth and depth of architecture whilst simultaneously understanding how the field bridges a myriad of disciplines [...]

Farhana Jiwa

Lughano Kalongolera

Dr Lughano Kalongolera

The first Malawian to graduate from an online surgical training programme, Dr Lughano Kalongolera continued to treat patients in his home country while expanding his knowledge through the three-year online MSc.

Read Dr Lughano Kalongolera's profile.

I am currently working with the Malawi Defence Force as the army surgeon. I am the only surgeon in the entire army. The Malawi Defence Force is the process of constructing a military hospital. I am the focal person of the project.

Dr Lughano KalongoleraSurgeon

Cara Stacey

Cara Stacey

After a "magical" year studying musicology in Edinburgh, Dr Cara Stacey knew she wanted to work in African music and focus on musical performance. She has completed two further degrees and released two albums.

Read Dr Cara Stacey's profile.

Beyond my academic research, I am an active musician and composer. Since my time at Edinburgh, I have released two albums on the UK-based label Kit Records and have collaborated with many interesting musicians.

Cara Stacey

Zia Manji

Zia Manji

A business degree has proved an invaluable foundation for Zia Manji's career. Starting out in his family's food manufacturing company, he has since moved into consulting, helping to build the first executive search firm in Kenya.

 Read Zia Manji's profile.

Over the last 16 years, leading a consulting business, Career Connections, in East Africa has provided tremendous scope and opportunity to work with multinational and local organisations across a spectrum of talent [...]

Zia ManjiDirector, Career Connections

Matthew Pflaum

matthew pflaum

Recent MSc Africa and International Development graduate Matthew Pflaum discusses his research into nomadism and pastoralism, and reflects on a work-based placement in Eastern Cameroon.

Read Matthew Pflaum's profile.

I recommend diversity of experience and pursuing not only classroom based experiences but those of volunteerism, clubs, and organisations. I was able to get some funding to organise a Ghana election event and had a lot of great support and other students to make it possible. That shows a lot of commitment and support for student projects.

Matthew Pflaum

The University and Africa

Alumni community in Africa

Africa Reigional Team - Edinburgh Global

Events - Edinburgh Global

Send us your profile

We are interested in the role that the University has played in your life, either directly - in terms of skills and knowledge - or indirectly, via friends, experiences or chance encounters. Please get in touch and you and your experiences could feature on our website.