Edu speaks to a woman dressed in a red sleeveless top outside the International Center on the UC Davis campus. They stand in an area shaded by the trees on a sunny day. Edu uses his hands to speak and they are blurred in the photograph. He wears a light blue suit with a matching shirt and blue and yellow paisley tie and pocket square.
Emilio Edu Nguema (2022, Equatorial Guinea) has over five years of experience working with farmers, and today works as an official extensionist at the Ministry of Agriculture of Equatorial Guinea and conducts research in agriculture. (TJ Ushing/UC Davis)

Meet Emilio Edu Nguema, 2022-23 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow

To get to know the 2022-23 Humphrey fellows, we asked them about their lives, work and hopes for the future. Here are Edu Nguema’s answers in his own words.

Emilio Edu Nguema 

What motivates you?

About Emilio Edu Nguema 

Pronouns: he/him

Country: Equatorial Guinea

Occupation: Official extensionist at the Ministry of Agriculture of Equatorial Guinea and agricultural researcher

Field: Agriculture economics and management

Learn more about Edu

"My motivation is two-dimensional. Firstly, I do have personal goals. I am from a modest rural family of eight siblings in Equatorial Guinea. I saw my parents in hardship, and they always voiced us to study to upturn the family situation. So, I understood that school is the way to turn things around. Therefore my first motivation is studying; I always want to study and learn new things. My second motivation comes from a deep yearning for a change in my community/country. My country is a land of plenty, but good policies are necessary to transform the lives of common families. So, improving the lives of the most vulnerable people motivates me." 

What drew you to your professional field?

"My country is traditionally an agrarian nation, but in the mid-1990s, we began to exploit oil. When having to enter university in 2009, to my surprise, almost all the students were opting for oil-related subjects. From that time, I felt that I shall study something different; a subject critical for the country's sustainable development, so I chose agronomy. Later on, my appreciation for the field of agriculture increased as I am realizing day by day its critical role in the development of a country with the bulk of people living out of subsistence agriculture." 

Why did you apply for the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program?

"When I saw this program, I felt that this is my life opportunity. First, I am convinced that I would learn and earn important knowledge from the lectures, workshops, field visits, etc. All of this would enable me to perform better in my work and help others such as farmers, entrepreneurs, young leaders, etc. Second, networking. I am convinced that I would build relevant contacts with important people in the U.S. who can help in the development of my country. Third, the USA is my model country in terms of democracy, respect for human rights, fight against inequality, economic and scientific development, and agricultural development. Having to go there for the first time in my life and get to see things in a whole new light, interact with people, etc. is a big thing for me. And last but not least, to improve my English."

What do you hope to take away from this fellowship and apply to your work or at home?

"As a junior specialist in Agricultural Economics Policy, in my work, I care about relevant research to develop informed policies for agricultural and economic development. From the fellowship, I need to grasp some experience on different avenues agriculture should be developed to impact poverty and the overall economy; more knowledge in statistics and econometrics. Knowledge in recording, analyzing and forecasting economic variables; farm organization; the setting of farm cooperatives, rural financial institutions and development Institutions. Trade and marketing of agricultural products and e-marketing in agriculture. Sustainability, research and relevant institutional arrangements for agricultural development. Most importantly, I expect to learn about some critical tools/software in running systems dynamics, GIS, newer statistical software, and others."

What is something from your country that you would like to share with the UC Davis community?

"I would like to share about the culture of my country. Equatorial Guinea is the sole Spanish-speaking country on the African continent and many people don’t know that. I would like to share some historical facts, and information about cocoa, tourism, food and more." 

How would you like to engage with UC Davis and the community here?

"Firstly, attending to every activity scheduled for us. Also, I am open to interacting with everyone to get to know them. Learning of languages."


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