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Ghanaian Visually Impaired, Ebenezer Azamati Elected President Of Oxford University Africa Society

Ebenezer Azamati, a visually impaired student of the University of Oxford, has been elected as the new president of the Oxford University Africa Society (AfriSoc).

He takes over from Kenyan, Elisha Ngetich, who had been serving in the role.

An alumnus of the University of Ghana, Ebenezer is currently pursuing a DPhil degree in International Relations at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University, as a Radcliffe Scholar.

He obtained a bachelor of arts (BA) degree in Political science from the University of Ghana in 2016, and later completed an MSc in International Politics at SOAS as a Felix scholar in 2018, an award presented to a single student from Africa.

Prior to pursuing his DPhil degree, Ebenezer studied for an MPhil in International Relations as a Higby Scholar at St. Johns and Mansfield colleges of Oxford University from 2018-2020.

Ebenezer is an ardent Clausewitzian with keen interests in the interactions between wars and the origins of World orders. His research examines Realpolitik and illiberal Great Powers’ conceptions of established international doctrines and liberal concepts.

In particular, he is a student of Classical Realism in training who investigates the complex connections between international commitments and the national interests of Great Powers involved in the management of the international order via pre-eminent international institutions.

During his time at the University of Ghana, he served as the Deputy Speaker of the University of Ghana SRC General Assembly and helped procure generators for all 16 halls to provide electricity during power cuts.

Before his election as president of AfriSoc, Ebenezer was involved in various activities such as being a speaker on the Education panel at the 2019 Oxford Africa Conference.

Now, as the newly elected president of the AfriSoc, he is expected to champion the agenda of African students and the extensive alumni in various leadership positions all over the world.

The Oxford University Africa Society (AfriSoc), established in 1958, focuses on African affairs at the University of Oxford. The Society seeks to set the agenda for the future of the African Continent by providing a platform for students hailing from or interested in Africa to critically engage. Above all, AfriSoc is a community of change agents passionate about Africa.

Assault at the Oxford Union

In 2019, Ebenezer Azamati had an experience that went viral and was reported by some of the UK’s top news portals.

Ebenezer was ‘dragged out’ of the Oxford Union (exclusive debating chamber) on October 17, 2019, after he attempted to attend a talk on the motion ‘This House has no confidence in HM Government’.

He had arrived early at the Oxford Union to reserve a seat as he was worried there were no special provisions for disabled students.

He placed a book on an accessible seat near the entrance to the chamber to reserve it and went back to his college for dinner.

When he returned later, accompanied by a friend and sat down, officials refused his attendance and were seen manhandling him out of his seat. His union card was also allegedly taken from him.

This incident led to protests by AfriSoc demanding an unreserved apology, recantation of the ban, punishment of the security personnel and compensation for Mr Azamati.

Brendan McGrath, the president of the Oxford Union at the time of the incident, later on November 20, 2019, apologised for his ‘mistakes’ and resigned.

Ebenezer was also paid some compensation following the incident.

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