Araba Maanan Blankson has a keen interest in public policy and international development, particularly, activities and policy processes geared towards reducing poverty and deprivation and creating economic opportunities. Araba would like to actively participate in the formulation and implementation of policies that impact lives positively. Her interest in public policy at the global level is rooted in her undergraduate study in French and Political Science from the University of Ghana. Her interest has been propelled further by her post-graduate study in development studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where she studied as a Commonwealth Shared Scholar.
Her professional experiences include working at the Institute of Economic Affairs in Ghana where she led the organisation of advocacy engagements which provoked dialogue to shape public policies to bring about reform. She also worked with the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for West Africa (AFRITAC West 2/IMF), where in an administrative support role, she contributed to the work of strengthening and building capacity of public sector institutions to have more efficient institutions better able to make economic policy decisions. As a project officer with the Rita Marley Foundation, she supervised community enhancement projects aimed at improving the well-being of people in a community in the Eastern region of Ghana.
It is her conviction that she has a social responsibility to work to improve her world in every little way starting from her community. This has been her motivation to look for opportunities to work with others with similar interests to solve local problems and help fight the hindrances holding the underprivileged back. She has exhibited her strong sense of social responsibility by seizing opportunities to be involved in community service through voluntary work. Her voluntary experience includes working with Compassion international Ghana where she taught underprivileged children in a community in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. She also worked as a peer mentor and organised events that were geared towards empowering girls while with the Smart Girls Network/Foundation in Ghana. To demonstrate her passion to finding solutions to problems while creating economic opportunities, Araba introduced the use of agricultural waste for charcoal briquettes to women in agriculture in a community in the Ahafo-Ano South district of Ghana.
Araba is convinced that while we work locally to improve our lot, we would be better placed if connected to other actors in other parts of the globe. This she believes, would mean taking change at the local level and making it global and herein lies a key motivation for her interest in the International Public Policy (MIPP) programme. With the MIPP’s conscious effort to foster professional development including the fellowship at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and teaching assistantship, she is ready to be challenged to make a real difference in today’s world.