The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) is excited to welcome our new Export Assistant, Dorothea Afriyie, to the team. Afriyie hails from Ghana and is pursuing her master’s degree in Agricultural Economics at North Dakota State University (NDSU). She has a definitive passion for policy and economic research, wanting to learn all she can to help positively impact the future of Ghana.
Despite her father being a farmer, her interests in agriculture were not fully realized until her undergraduate studies in development planning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana. Throughout her studies, she engaged with the farming community and saw agriculture as the way to build and grow prosperity for Ghana. “My father always pushed my siblings and me into education, but through schooling, it brought me back to farming… and I see a need for change in the way we do agriculture,” says Afriyie. She also earned a Master’s in Economics and a certificate in the Ghana Stock Exchange.
As she speaks about her homeland, you can hear the passion in her voice about the many opportunities she sees for the future. “We have so many people who are knowledgeable about farming in Ghana, but I feel we lack direction. I see government directives and assistance to help the flow of things will be of great importance to the success of the agriculture industry for Ghana.” She explains that younger generations are less interested in farming, as they want to pursue white-collar jobs in more populated communities. But Afriyie sees agriculture as something that Ghana could excel at and decrease economic hardships with the right changes in technology, processing, exporting expertise, and informed policy. “Ghana has so much potential, throughout the whole agricultural process from seed, harvest, processing and exporting, they all just need alignment,” she says.
North Dakota and NDSU are her newest adventure that Afriyie is eager to take on. “The thing that excited me most about North Dakota and working with NDTO was the macro research, and most of the commodities in North Dakota are ag-related, which is all very interesting to me,” says Afriyie. She is also looking forward to the summer. With so many agriculture companies nearby, Afriyie is excited to get out in the fields and get some hands-on learning that she can take back to Ghana. The steps beyond harvest are of particular interest to Afriyie. She would like to better understand how the US does the processing, distribution, and exporting parts of agriculture that she has had less exposure to in the past.
In the future, she hopes to return to Ghana with a full head of knowledge that she can dispense and help propel the next generation of farming. This would include improvements to infrastructure, processing, distribution, and farming technology – all of which she hopes will help Ghana excel on a global stage with their agricultural commodities.
The NDTO is excited to have Afriyie join the team, help her grow her interests, and provide an excellent opportunity to explore her passions. Welcome to the team, Dorothea!