Benedicta Frimpomaa Asiedu
Three Cairns Scholars

Benedicta Asiedu, Ghana

Goal: Advancing Ghana’s transition to a net-zero economy

Benedicta Asiedu ’25 MEM has witnessed profound economic transformation in her home country of Ghana. It is one of the world’s largest exporters of gold, and it exports agricultural goods, most significantly cacao, to global markets. Since 2007, when oil in commercial quantities was first discovered, Ghana has also become a producer and exporter of crude oil. These three commodities alone have helped the country move from the edge of economic collapse three decades ago to, as the World Bank declared in 2019, the world’s fastest growing economy. (This growth has since slowed.)

“Ghana’s environment is mostly viewed through this lens of economic activity and production,” Asiedu says, adding that this view often comes “at the expense of more sustainable, longer-term consideration.”

Deforestation, in particular, is a problem for the country. In 2019 — the same year its economic growth earned accolades — Ghana was losing rainforest at a faster rate than any other country in the world. “Given these growing investments and infrastructural developments, I want to study environmental management and learn how to mitigate the potential environmental challenges my country faces,” Asiedu says.

Prior to enrolling in YSE, Benedicta worked on a World-Bank Sponsored project “SOCO” in Ghana, which focused on mitigating the effects of climate change in the country’s northern regions. This experience heightened her quest to advance sustainability in both the private and public sectors. As a master’s degree student , she is specializing in business and the environment, and, upon graduation, plans to return to Ghana as a corporate sustainability consultant. She hopes to work with public and private sector actors to advance initiatives that will help her country transition to a net-zero economy.

“YSE has so far been a great experience,” she says. “I’m excited to bring the new knowledge I’ve gained back to my home.”

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