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Sangu Delle

African Studies with a Secondary Field in Economics

Class of 2010

Mr. Delle is currently enrolled in the JD/MBA program at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School and serves as a Resident Tutor in Law, Business & Global Citizenship at Adams House. After graduation, he worked as an Analyst at Morgan Stanley in their Special Situations Group in New York for a year and as an Investment Professional at Valiant Capital Partners, an investment firm in San Francisco for two years. He has co-authored and published Contemporary Africa through Poetry in 2012 (see www.sdelle.com for details) and is working on his second book, Seeding Growth: Africa's Youngest Entrepreneurs. His non-profit company, the African Development Initiative has launched two new projects: Project Sygma (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw_SRrCXQ34) and Project Enyi. (Details onwww.africandi.com). He has traveled to 30 countries on the African continent.

He writes of his experience as a concentrator in African Studies: "My undergraduate academic experience has been an inter-disciplinary problem solving centered education, in which I did not acquire knowledge in the abstract, but learned with synthesis and practical application at the forefront. This originated from one of the most memorable classes I have ever taken—Professor Sven Beckert’s “History of American Capitalism”. The course examined the major trajectories of the development of American capitalism. We started from the structure of Native-American economies to the position of the United States’s economy in the world economy. The interdisciplinary approach that Professor Beckert took in teaching this class was refreshing. In some lectures, he analyzed capitalism from an ecological perspective. In others, he employed an economics or anthropological lens. Inspired by this multi-disciplinary approach to learning, I switched my major from Economics to African and African-American Studies, where I could integrate my love for history, economics, literature, and even science, to focus on the development of the continent I so deeply love. I had a conversation with Professor Evelyn Higginbotham, Chair of the Department, and she sold me on the newly launched Social Engagement Initiative. This initiative, of which I am proudly the first guinea pig, truly shaped my academic experience. Social Engagement weds academic study with practical experience, allowing students to explore and reflect upon on-the-ground applications of their intellectual work. By stepping outside the Ivory Tower, we are able to understand how and why academic study, ideas, and even technological discoveries are challenged by the lived experiences and cultural prescriptions of communities very different from our own. In my case, I spearheaded a water and sanitation development project in a community called Agyemanti, working with a team of professors from Economics, Anthropology, Public Health and Engineering. I became increasingly knowledgeable of the interlocking factors of poverty, technological costs, governance, culture, and global redistributive justice. In fact, this project is now the basis for my “alternative senior thesis” which is the capstone experience of Social Engagement, and will include a documentary of my project, and a policy paper making the case for investing in water and sanitation as a means of reducing poverty and improving healthcare outcomes. Social engagement within African studies gave me the richest academic experience I could ever imagine, helped a community get access to clean water and sanitation and provided a fulfilling opportunity to practically apply my education." [Sangu was profiled in Harvard Magazine and with other Harvard students, has started a non-profit company called the African Development Initiative.]

Websites:

Projects

Project Access to Clean Water for Agyementi (Project ACWA) - Sangu Delle, class of 2010

In 2008, the United Nations-designated “International Year of Water and Sanitation,” two Harvard undergraduates and I co-founded Project Access to Clean Water for Agyementi (Project ACWA), with the goal of providing clean water and sanitation to...

Learn more about Project ACWA