Growing up in northeastern Ghana, Francis Abugbilla witnessed regional conflict throughout his childhood. Two ethnic groups clashed repeatedly, dating back to pre-colonial times. Today, as a doctoral student in the UW’s Jackson School of International Studies, Abugbilla is working toward lasting solutions to such conflicts.
That may be a tall order, but Abugbilla is no stranger to seemingly insurmountable challenges. Raised in a small farming community with no electricity, schools, or clinics, he walked hours a day to attend school in another village. He didn’t encounter a computer until high school. But he excelled academically, and continued on to Ghana’s University of Cape Coast to study French with a minor in English.