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Former Vi economist, Julia Seiermann, now of UNCTAD’s Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities (left) and Vi fellow, Aman Ndewa Nthangu, of Vi core Tanazanian member, the University of Dar es Salaam Business School.  The Virtual Institute granted a research fellowship to Aman Ndewa Nthangu, of Vi core Tanazanian member, the University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDSBS), February 8 to March 18. The fellowship was funded by the One UN Fund for Tanzania.

With mentoring from former Vi economist, Julia Seiermann, now of UNCTAD’s Division on International Trade in Goods and Services and Commodities, Nthangu explored the link between export performance and household poverty in Tanzania.

“Julia gave me all the support that I needed, and was very much committed to make my project succeed,” he said. “The fellowship exposed me to a new methodology that has not yet been used in Tanzania, and provided me advanced data management skills which I couldn't have obtained in my country.”

To conduct his analysis, Nthangu first gathered household data from the Tanzania National Panel Survey to identify export sectors in which individual households are engaged.  He then integrated data on Tanzanian exports to assess whether there is an increase in welfare -- measured by increased consumption -- for households working in sectors with growing exports.

During the fellowship, Nthangu completed a literature review, developed the methodology, collected data and performed a basic analysis of the data for his paper.

He intends to apply his new knowledge to the development of his upcoming PhD project and to launch a course on data management. In addition, he plans share his knowledge throughout his university and to submit the paper for publication in USDBS’s Business Management Review Journal.

“This fellowship has been a wonderful moment of learning,” Nthangu said. “It has expanded my understanding on a number of ways to look at the relationship between trade and poverty, and even on other development agenda issues like gender equality and food security.”

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