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Thomas Yeboah

Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology

Dr Thomas Yeboah currently serves as Research Fellow/Lecturer with the Bureau of Integrated Rural Development (BIRD), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK and has nearly a decades’ experience working on issues around household relations, gender, and generational relations in studies of rural development and migration, especially children and youth’s labour migration and their engagement with both rural and urban economies. Thomas has strong research interest on young people’s imagined futures and employment in rural Africa, labour migration, and migration policies. An important aspect of his work focuses on examining the socio-cultural underpinnings of children’s work, the relationship between child labour and the more benign forms, how these are shaped by gender and generational concerns and how children and youth understand these jobs and their involvement in them. Thomas’ research also focuses on child and youth migration including migration journeys, decision-making, journey experiences and lived realities in the realm of social and spatial mobilities, agriculture and value chains, youth employment, rural livelihoods development as well as government and donor interventions to support for rural youth.

Prior to joining BIRD, he worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK, where he was part of an inter-disciplinary team of engineers and social science researchers that worked on an EPSRC-funded Humanitarian Engineering and Energy for Displacement (HEED) project led by Coventry University in partnership with Practical Action and Scene. The HEED project draws upon social science and engineering expertise to better understand energy needs and identify solutions which produce socio-technical systems that encourage community resilience and capacity building. The project focuses on the energy experiences, needs and aspirations of Congolese refugees living for protracted periods of time in Rwanda and internally displaced persons (IDPs) forced to leave their homes as a result of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

Thomas has strong qualitative and quantitative research expertise and has consulted for several development-oriented organisations. Recent relevant work that he has led or contributed to includes the Merrian Institute for Advanced Studies sponsored fellowship research on ECOWAS free movement protocol and diversity of experiences of different categories of migrants in Ghana. This work was sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education. Other recent works include Co-include lead researcher on school children’s work on shallot and the entire horticultural system of production in Anloga, Volta Region where more than 400 school children were interviewed under the Agricultural Policy Research Programme in Africa (APRA); Ghana Country Researcher on young people’s engagement in the commercialised rural economy of Africa in three country contexts; and Co-Investigator on the research programme ‘Action on Harmful Child Work in African Agriculture’ (ACHA) (2020-2027); synthesis of youth employment in the rural economy of Africa, including evaluation of governmental and donor interventions  to promote youth employment in the rural economy of Africa funded by the Dutch Knowledge Platform on Inclusive Development Policies (INCLUDE)Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), under the aegis of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth.

Fellowships received 

February 2019-May 2019: Junior Research Fellow: The Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (MIASA), University of Ghana, Interdisciplinary Research Group on Migration, Mobility and Forced Displacement in Africa. Conducted research on ECOWAS free movement Protocol and Diversity of Experiences of Different Categories of Migrants

2016-2018 Matasa Fellow: The Matasa Fellows Network is a joint initiative by the Master Card Foundation and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS). It seeks to develop a cohort of young African researchers with the skills and commitment to engage in policy-oriented research around the challenges of young people and employment in Africa. The aim is to contribute to the development of outstanding young researchers who will ultimately become leaders in their chosen fields.

Teaching courses at the Department of Planning, KNUST

  1. PL 254: Social Policy Planning
  2. DPP 568: Social Policy Analysis



Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture

Action on Children’s Harmful Work in African Agriculture (ACHA) is a seven-year research programme supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) that started in January 2020. The aim of the programme is to build evidence on: the forms, drivers, and experiences of...


Matasa Fellows Network

An exciting initiative to support young African scholars engage their research with policy on youth employment in Africa.



Working Paper

Policies and Politics Around Children’s Work in Ghana

ACHA Working Paper;8

This paper explores policy and legislation aimed at preventing, regulating, and abolishing harmful children’s work in Ghana, and the political debates and controversies surrounding these mechanisms. The paper critically interrogates the successes and challenges of previous and current policies...

Samuel Okyere & 3 others

11 March 2021