Africa in our Lives: Lusayo Mwakatika


Lusayo Mwakatika is an Administrative Intern at the African Studies Program and a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also President of Project Malawi, a student organization at UW-Madison, which mainly does fund raising for different organizations in Malawi. He is studying Agricultural Business Management, because he is passionate about agriculture and food equality. Lusayo is part of the first cohort of the King-Morgridge Scholars Program. The program endows six scholarships each year to enterprising, creative young aduts committed to poverty alleviation. Participants are selected from countries in Africa, Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. He likes public speaking, and in his freshman year he won top honors in the UW-Madison CA 100 Speech Contest. Lusayo also does stand-up comedy.

Tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to Madison.

I am from Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. After high school I took a gap year and that’s when I became really interested in Agriculture. I saw that there are a lot of opportunities in the Agricultural sector and that if I applied my efforts in this sector I would make a lasting impact. This is why I decided to pursue a degree in Agricultural Business Management. And mostly I wanted to have a different perspective of the sector so I thought it would be good for me to study in the US which has an advanced Agricultural sector. This is why I ended up in Madison because it has one of the best Agricultural colleges and there are a lot of farmers around the university, which would allow me to get enough exposure and skills in the Agricultural sector.

How did you first get involved with the African Studies Program on campus?

I got involved with African Studies mainly through their round table events where they brought in different people to speak to students about their careers working in Africa, and also through attending Africa At Noon seminars, which are very interesting because you get to learn from different people and their work in Africa.

Tell us a bit about the internship program in Malawi.

The internship in Malawi came about due to multiple collaborative efforts between Project Malawi, ACADES Malawi and the International Internship Program at UW Madison. This internship is mainly focused on helping ACADES Malawi to fill several gaps in the operations of the organization, by getting different perspectives from the interns from UW Madison. ACADES is an Agricultural Organization working with youths in Malawi to alleviate generational poverty by teaching Agricultural Business skills to the youths and helping them find markets for their products. ACADES is currently working with about 3000 youths in Malawi. Hence, the interns will have an enriched experience working with innovative and creative young people in Malawi. They will also get the opportunity to learn more about the culture and help ACADES achieve its goals by using their skills to work on some of the projects that ACADES is doing. The internship has also been carefully and deliberately designed so that both the intern and the organization are able to benefit from it.

Read the full article on the African Studies Program website.

Interested in the ACADES Malawi internship? Check it out on our database!