Victoria Agyepong is a first year student in the MSc. Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph, and an alumna scholar of the Swedish Institute and the Acton Institute.

Victoria grew up in Accra, Ghana, an urban city with a population of about 2.4 million people located along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea. After her undergraduate degree in Economics and Statistics at the University of Ghana, she worked with academic leaders in the UK Department for International Development’s Migrating out of poverty Research program to gather evidence on the impact of local and international economic migration on poverty in rural communities in Ghana. She got intrigued about the development of policies which seek to improve shared prosperity and quality of life of agriculture workers while sustaining food security. Thus, she went on to pursue a master’s degree in Economics (spec. Agriculture Economics) at the Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences. Through her thesis, where she explored and gathered evidence on how various internationally proposed food wastage management policies in the cassava sector will impact shared prosperity across gender and between rural and urban households in Ghana, she developed an interest in ‘people-centered’ agri-food policies after discovering the subjective nature of waste culture which adds to the complexity of governing a circular food economy. She went on to contribute to the development, monitoring and evaluation of strategic plans for the development of infrastructure (physical and digital), housing, employment, land, economic growth of priority sectors and, work and skills for Leicester and Leicestershire at the Leicestershire County Council in England. Her research interests lie in how planning policies on ‘Smart’ food-resource management can be or are developed to ensure shared prosperity and improved quality of life for women and youth in rural-urban communities in Ontario.

For more information and collaborative opportunities email Victoria at vagyepon@uoguelph.ca.