Messan Agbaglah is a Professor of Microeconomics at the African School of Economics (ASE). Prior to joining ASE, he was a research fellow working for the Canadian Government. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Montreal in Canada, in addition to a Master’s degree in Engineering Statistics in Economics from the Abidjan School of Statistics. Dr. Agbaglah is from Togo (West Africa). The ASE communications team had the opportunity to interview him about his experience.
ASE Communications: How did you hear about ASE and what was your recruitment process like?
Dr. Agbaglah: I was familiar with the university since its inception, since I was a college fellow with some of the first teachers hired by ASE. Over time, I continued to follow ASE’s gradual growth. At one point I had the opportunity to meet Professor Léonard and during our discussion he invited me to present a seminar. In September 2016, I came to teach a short course on Microeconomic Theory for PhD and MMES students (Master in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics). It was after these experiences that I decided to join ASE for good.
ASE Communications: For the time you’ve been here, how would you assess ASE’s administration, interaction with students, etc.?
Dr. Agbaglah: ASE is a unique and highly ambitious project in Francophone Africa, which has already accomplished great things. Fundamentally, I think ASE is a crucial project. One we need more of in Africa. I feel strongly about being part of it and utilizing my skills in its’ service. Together, I hope we will work to make this project a success. Regarding interaction with the administration and the students, I find it is going very well. My door is always open for students and they do not hesitate to stop by and visit.
ASE Communications: You claim that you would like to utilize your skills in the service of ASE. What are your future goals for ASE?
Dr. Agbaglah: We can build ASE’s training, whether in the programs, in recruitment, or in placement. We can establish the institution’s uniqueness in offering a North American style education in a country of French-speaking Africa. Our goal is to equip students with the necessary competences and knowledge to be able to continue on to study at major American universities or work in international institutions. We have already seen encouraging results and are excited for the future.
ASE Communications: What motivates you the most?
Dr. Agbaglah: The opportunity to transfer knowledge to young people in Africa. You know for example, I recently observed at the SIER (Summer School on Research in Economics), how confident ASE students are at what they do and how they combine theory and practice. For me, it's very motivating. I want to be able to transfer this confidence to other young Africans so they can say to themselves: “Our happiness does not necessarily lie in the West. We must build our continent”. I lead by example, I hope others will join us in this mission.
ASE Communications: Finally, could you tell us what your hobbies are?
Dr. Agbaglah: I love to stay informed! At home, I do just that. I don’t watch a lot of movies. On the contrary, I inform myself. I want to understand Africa, the history of Africa, not as we have been described by others but the true history of Africa. It takes a lot of time and energy to look at the literature and understand the true story of Africa. In addition to this quest for information, I play a little guitar.