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27 October 2021

International development graduate wins contest for his insights into post-pandemic Gambia

Francis Thomas Aubee, an alumnus of the Department of International Development, has won an annual blog contest with his post on building back a more resilient and inclusive Gambia.

Francis Thomas Aubee

Francis’ entry to the World Bank Africa’s 2021 Blog4Dev competition was selected as the winning post for The Gambia and addresses the question: ‘How can young people work with their governments and civil society organisations to respond to the impact of COVID-19 and build a stronger post-pandemic economic and social system?’

Francis will now be part of a year-long programme with the World Bank, attending multilateral meetings and representing African youth at conferences and events across the continent.

Entitled ‘Building a more inclusive and resilient Gambia from the grassroots’, his blog post focuses on the role of youths in creating a productive ecosystem for The Gambia and calls for the government to create strong youth empowered networks to ensure financial sustainability.

This is because youths make up more than 50 percent of the population in The Gambia. He believes governmental support of this demographic will “go a long way to strengthening the economic fabric of local communities.”

Coming from the Gambia, one of the poorest countries in Africa and the world, has influenced my decision to work in economic development. So being a winner in this competition is a really good opportunity.

Francis Thomas Aubee, Emerging Economies and Inclusive Development MSc

His desire to work in the field is also what lead him to study at King’s.

“I’ve always wanted to go back home and help. I’ve always wanted to contribute to economic development in Africa. So my degree at King’s really suited me.”

Since graduating from an Emerging Economies and Inclusive Development MSc, Francis has been working as a consultant for the World Bank. He is helping the finance team with transitioning to a new loan system.

Run by the World Bank Africa, the annual Blog4Dev competition invites young people to weigh in on a topic critical to their country’s economic development.

In 2021, the competition received 1,266 entries and the World Bank Country Offices were able to designate winners from 38 countries.