Akwasi Owusu Sarpong is a PhD candidate in the One Health and Urban Transformation Graduate School, hosted by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) of the University of Bonn. He holds an M.Phil. in Geography & Resource Development from University of Ghana. His Master’s thesis about fire risk in informal urban settings resulted in a research paper in the journal “Disasters”. Prior to his PhD project, he worked as a Researcher at the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), a Universal Access Fund that seeks to promote access and use of ICTs in unserved and underserved rural communities in Ghana. At GIFEC, he has coordinated several research and intervention projects, including the ‘Ghana Digital Divide Study’ and a project promoting ICT Use among Small and Medium Enterprises in rural communities in Ghana.
During his time with UNU-EHS and the One Health Graduate school at ZEF, Akwasi will work on his PhD research project, which will take place in Africa’s largest e-waste recycling site (in Ghana’s capital, Accra), where many migrants from Northern Ghana are informally employed. The main focus of his research is the trade-off that migrants and urban planners face between livelihood security/economic interest (through e-waste processing) and the right to healthy working conditions, a clean environment and safe food.