Employability Research

The ACCESS Research Pillar aims to bring scrutiny to bear on an issue of enormous importance, not only for Africa, but for the globe. Namely, that of graduate unemployability. With over 60% of Africa´s population under the age of 25, and African labor markets seemingly unable to absorb this massive demographic bulge, the questions of employability skills, needs of labor markets, and the role of universities have never been more urgent. Given the sheer size and scope of these issues, the ACCESS research pillar takes a multidisciplinary approach to tackling these enormous questions.

Partnering with 7 universities from all over Africa, and with a research pillar comprising academics from business, IT, geography, anthropology, history and more, the ACCESS team brings together cutting edge researchers and academics from all over the globe.

12 PhD candidates from our partner universities in Africa will join our team in Leipzig, and be able to take part in the research academy of Leipzig´s classes and course offerings. Their research focuses on a wide variety of topics, ranging from employability and community expectations of universities, to gender mainstreaming.

In addition to our doctoral program, the ACCESS research pillar is conducting ongoing research investigations into informal sector labor across Africa, creating an employability handbook, and working on creating an online employability assessment tool. With a dedicated and focused team intent on delivering quality research output, the research pillar is a critical component of the ACCESS project.

News and updates

3 student selected for Ghana Studies association conference

ACCESS is pleased to announce that 3 of our PhD students will travel to Tamale, Ghana to participate in the Ghana Studies association triennial conference on the 18th-20th of July,2022. The theme of the conference is „Ghana at crossroads“. The three students, Emmanuel Agyemang, Theophile Shyiramunda, and Temitope Faloye will lead a panel on the topic of „Graduate employability in Africa:Prospects and challenges“.

3 ACCESS students return from Ghana studies association annual conference

ACCESS PhD Students Emmanuel Agyemang, Temitope Faloye and Theophile Shiramunda had the following to report about their experience at the conference:

The Ghana Studies Association and the University for Development Studies, Tamale (Host) jointly organised the conference. It was a great opportunity for networking, research exchange, discussion, and dissemination.  

We presented the following three papers under the Panel Topic “Graduate employability in Africa: Prospects and challenges”, which was part of the conference sub-theme: “Education, Training, and Employment.”

Emmanuel Agyemang presented on “Getting a job in Ghana: Job search Perspectives among Graduates in the Ghanaian Labour Market.”

Theophile Shyiramunda’s paper was called “Reorienting practices in Higher Education: Discourse on Rwandan Graduates Experience at Labor Market”, and

Temitope Faloye discussed “Employers’ Perspective on Female Graduate Employability in Nigeria.”

We are grateful to DAAD, ACCESS, and the University of Leipzig for sponsoring this trip.

Our PhD students

Email: ea29zeje@studserv.uni-leipzig.de

Biography: Emmanuel Agyemang is a Ph.D. Candidate at the Institute of African Studies and Graduate School Global and Area Studies (GSGAS), University of Leipzig. He is a Research Fellow at the Employability Research Unit of the African Center for Career Enhancement and Skills Support (ACCESS) under the International SEPT Program, University of Leipzig. In 2017, Emmanuel received his MSc Global Development and Planning with a Specialization in Development management from the University of Agder, Norway. In 2014, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (FIRST CLASS HONOURS) in Political Studies and Sociology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST-Ghana. Trained as an interdisciplinary scholar, his research lies at the intersection of political science, sociology, and development studies. He combines ethnographic methods with surveys to address development, social and political phenomena.

Current research project: Getting a job in Ghana: Impacts of Social Networks on Graduates Job Attainment in the Ghanaian Labour Market.

Research interests:

Social networks


Labor markets

Academic CV:

PhD Candidate (African Studies)-University of Leipzig, Germany, 2020-2023

MSc Development Management – University of Agder, Norway, 2015-2017.

BA Political Studies (First Class Honours) – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST/Ghana, 2010-2014.

Name: Doris Alago

Email: da54quse@studserv.uni-leipzig.de


Having studied Bachelor of Commerce and Master in Business Administration with a specialization in marketing option, I joined the African Centre for Career Enhancement and Skills Support (ACCESS) project research team at Universität Leipzig as a research fellow.

Current research project:

Social media adoption in higher education institutions

Research interests:

Business information systems

Social media


Academic CV:

2012 BA in Commerce

2015  MBA with a focus in marketing

2020 to date: Pursuing Ph.D. Business Information Systems

Email: ts33susi@studserv.uni-leipzig.de


Having worked in education sector, studied Education and being a PhD Candidate at Leipzig University in Germany, the research interests of Theophile Shyiramunda include currently the Higher Education Institutions and Communities.

Current research project:

Communities‘ Expectations from Higher Education Institutions in their Regions.

Research interests:

Higher Education and communities, Educational leadership, Knowledge society, Pedagogy, educational quality & standards, Monitoring & Evaluation

Academic CV:


2016: B.Sc. with Education, Chemistry Education

2019: Master of Education

Since 2020 PhD Candidate, Leipzig University

Email: thouthou.med@gmail.com

Biography: I’m a P.hD student from Tunisia. I grew up in Kasserine, an interior governorate of Tunisia. I finished there all my primary and secondary education. In 2012, I moved to Tunis the capital where I get my superior degrees. In 2017 was my first experience with teaching. 2 years later, I have been approved in my job and started my research interests. During my master’s period, I was interested in the distribution of water and the agricultural development in the Kasserine region. I finished my master’s thesis but I didn’t submit it because of the scholarship contract. I’m interested in the unemployment problem in Tunisia from a socio-economic perspective.

Current research project: Graduates’ unemployment in Tunisia: Case study of Greater Tunis

Research interests: Graduates unemployment, Gender discrimination in the labor market, employment policies in Tunisia.


Academic CV:


  • 2019-2020 High School Geography and History Teacher

                                 Hannibal High School in Ariana

  • 2017-2019 High School Geography and History Teacher

                              Hannibal High School in Ariana

  • 2018-2019 Certificate of Achievement in the Competitive Examination of Aggregation 

                             Tunis Faculty of Humanities and social Science

  • 2017-2018 First year Master in Geography

                            Tunis Faculty of Humanities and social Science

  • 2015-2017 Certificate of Ecole Normale Supérieure of Tunis

                            Ecole Normale Supérieure of Tunis

  • 2014-2015 Fundamental license in Geography

                            Ecole Normale Supérieure of Tunis

Biography: Having a Master’s degree in Business Administration Option Management and Strategic Communication; I am a scholarship holder of the African Centre and Career Enhancement and Skills Support (ACCESS) project since August 2020 and currently enrolled as PhD Candidate in faculty of Economics and Business Sciences at Leipzig university, Germany.


Current research project: My current research project focuses on graduates’ employability in African context with a topic entitled: “Enhancing graduate employability in Benin: Determining the required competencies for faculty engagement in Service-Learning approach with Businesses”.


Research interests: Academic Service Learning; University-Business Collaboration; Graduates’ unemployment in Africa; Employability skills Development in Africa.


 Bachelor’s in business administration, IRGIB Africa University (BENIN) 2010.

Master’s in business administration (option Management and Strategic Communication), IRGIB Africa University (BENIN), 2015.

PhD Candidate in Economics and Business sciences, Leipzig University (Germany), 2020-2023


In 2016, I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Education (Accounting) from Ekiti State University (EKSU), Nigeria. In 2019, I received my M. Ed in Educational Evaluation from Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. I am a PhD candidate at the Institute of African Studies and Graduate School Global and Area Studies (GSGAS), University of Leipzig. I am a research fellow at the Employability Research project unit, of the African Center for Career Enhancement and Skills Support (ACCESS) program, under the International SEPT Program/DAAD, University of Leipzig.



Current Research Project

Soft skills exhibition as predictors of female University graduate Employability in Nigeria.



Research Interests


Graduate Employability in Africa (Nigeria)

Education in Africa (Nigeria)

Exhibition of relevant skills in Africa (Nigeria)

Female access to opportunities in Africa (Nigeria)

Labor Market in Africa (Nigeria)



Academic CV



2012-2016 B. ED in Accounting from Ekiti State University, Nigeria

2018-2019 M. ED in Educational Evaluation, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.

2020-2023 PhD candidate, Institute of African Studies, University of Leipzig, Germany.


Awards and Scholarship

DAAD/ACCESS Ph.D Scholarship, University of Leipzig, Germany.


Workshop and Conference

The Future of Higher Education in Nigeria; 6th International Conference, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan (2018).

Stress Management Workshop (2020)

1st ACCESS Conference „Work and Economic Futures: Africa and Beyond“ (2021).

Publishing Scholarly Monographs in the Humanities & Social Sciences (2021).



Since 2020 member in the African Center for Career Enhancement and Skills Support (ACCESS).



Christopher Boafo holds an MBA (Small and Medium Business Studies) from Leipzig University. In this university, he works as a Junior Researcher at the International SEPT Competence Center while enrolled as a PhD Student at the Faculty of Economics and Management Science. At SEPT MBA in Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) Development, he teaches aspects of Internationalization of SMEs.




Current Research Project

His doctoral research is centred on university-business collaboration, which forms part of the ACCESS Project at Leipzig University.



Research Interests


Christopher´s current research interests are focused on university-business (SME) linkages, informal firms, and enterprise clusters in the context of Africa. Across these fields, he conducts research from the lens of international entrepreneurship and international business competences.



Academic CV



Since July 2020: PhD Student, Faculty of Economics and Management Science, Leipzig University

2016–2018 MBA in Small and Medium Business Studies, Leipzig University

2008–2012 B.A. in Publishing Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana


2020–2023 ACCESS Scholarship Grant (DAAD, BMZ, and Leipzig University) for PhD Studies



After completing my bachelor’s degree in Publishing Studies and Entrepreneurship, I joined the Centre for Business Development at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. During this period, I was trained as an expert in entrepreneurship, start-ups development, innovation management and project management. Due to my strong interest in project management and international economic cooperation partnerships, I pursued a master’s degree in Project Management. My thesis focused on the Contributions of International Economic Cooperation Partners to the Implementation of Social Intervention Projects in Ghana. I worked on many projects, including projects financed by the World Bank, European Commission, DANIDA and DAAD, which focused on entrepreneurship, innovations, and job creation.



Current Research Project

“Exploring the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Gaps; Towards A Framework for Start-Ups Upscaling for Sustainable Graduates Employment in Ghana”.

This exploratory study assesses the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ghana to uncover gaps that hinder start-ups upscaling for sustainable graduates‘ employment. Unemployment is considered a negative element of economic development that affects all countries in varying proportions, significantly those underdeveloped and those in transition to the market economy (Burlacu et al., 2021). Unemployment is often used to measure the economy’s health (Batu, 2016). Over the last decade, the persistent character of unemployment has become a significant concern for academicians and policymakers. As a developing country, Ghana is no exception to this phenomenon of unemployment challenges. Entrepreneurship and start-ups development has been viewed as the solution to bridge the employment gap with many policies and programmes from government and international economic cooperation partners to drive this agenda. However, the lingering living dead phenomenon seems to be the cases of start-ups in Ghana as many fail to scale to absorb the teeming youth of graduates. As a general rule, start-ups formation and proper operation depend on the desirable performance of the basis titled Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. The study attempts to evaluate the interaction among the entrepreneurial ecosystem elements in Ghana toward a framework for start-up upscaling.



Having studied Macroeconomics, International Finance and specialized in defense and peace economy at the University of Tunis (ESSECT), I am currently a research fellow and a Ph.D. student at Leipzig University. I have previously been working on the economic costs of terrorism and violent extremism as part of a project conducted by UNDP Tunisia.

 My current research project is part of the ACCESS (African Center for Career Enhancement and skills support) employability research unit and focuses on the role of small and medium enterprises in the employment of HEI graduates in Tunisia


Current research project:

Roles of Tunisian SMEs in the employment of HEI
graduates: quantitative and qualitative approach


Research interests:

Employment issues, Defense and peace economy, Econometrics



Academic CV:

2022: Join PhD, University of Leipzig, Germany
2019: Join PhD (Economic sciences), ESSECT, University of Tunis.
2018 (2 years): Master’s Degree (research) in macroeconomics and international finance,
ESSECT, University of Tunis
2015 (3 years): Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, ESSECT, University of Tunis.



Name: Nasser Msalem

 (PhD candidate, Leipzig University, Germany)



Phone : +4917625092886


Nasser Msalem is a first-year Ph.D. student – Leipzig university, researching “Unemployment of  Tunisian Graduates: The social and solidarity economy as an operational alternative.

 He was a MECAM Fellow of the IFG “Inequality and mobility”, working alongside other social science researchers on the complex relationships between rising inequalities and diverse types of mobility and he Has worked on the topic of  water governance and socio-spatial mobility in the region of Siliana”(Northwest of Tunisia).

 He has recently finished a research mission with the Contemporary Maghreb Research Institute (IRMC) and participated as a research assistant in two research projects, namely “ProGreS migration” and TARICA “Political and socio-institutional changes in North Africa”.

 He finished his Research Masters’ degree in Geography in 2018 at the Faculty of Humanities of the Université de Tunis (FSHST) and gained a BA in Sociology from the same Faculty beforehand. Next to his doctoral studies, Nasser is currently the regional coordinator of the organisation I Watch in Siliana and is the founder and president of the El Khir agricultural development group. In 2020 he was the supervisor of the “Socio-political opinion poll” project with Elka consulting.

Current research project:

Unemployment of  Tunisian Graduates: The social and solidarity economy as an operational alternative.






Current research project:

Entrepreneurship in the area of University Spinoffs

Research interests:

My interests are in the area of startups and Academic Entrepreneurship.

Academic CV:

MBA 2016- focus on Strategic Management

Bachelor of Commerce (BCOM) 2013- with a focus in marketing

Email: aureletoni@gmail.com


  • from Benin Republic,
  • has a background in IT in the United States and Benin
  • Bsc in ICT
  • MBA in Management Sciences


Current research project: University Spin-offs / Academic Entrepreneurship Coaching  

Research interests: Entrepreneurship, Education, Strategy

Academic CV:

MBA 2020

BSC  2016

A.S 2013-CIS