Zainab Usman

Young Professional, World Bank

I joined the World Bank in September 2016 as part of the Young Professionals Programme (YPP). I am currently in the Energy and Extractives Global Practice at the Bank’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

I work on governance and sustainable management of the mining sector, assisting governments in East Africa and Central Asia to ensure that the sector contributes to reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

In March 2017, I successfully defended my DPhil thesis, entitled ‘The Political Economy of Economic Diversification in Nigeria’. In my doctoral research, I use the emerging political settlements analytical framework to analyse Nigeria’s efforts to diversify its economy away from oil dependence. I am currently working on a book manuscript and I have a forthcoming journal article under review.

Without a doubt, the four years I spent in Oxford are some of the most memorable in my life. I am immensely thankful for the financial support, the excellent physical space to pursue the wildly ambitious project known as my doctorate, and the intellectual freedom provided by the Oxford Department of International Development. I was hosted by Lady Margaret Hall, which also provided funds to support my fieldwork, presentations of my research at various stages in conferences in far corners of the world, and the latter stages of my DPhil.

I’ve met, interacted and debated with the finest intellectuals on earth in this institution, including my supervisor, and other advisors who have given me the privilege to work on their projects or teach their courses. I’ve also made lifelong friends in Oxford. I’m so grateful for it all.

Without a doubt, the four years I spent in Oxford are some of the most memorable in my life.