Women's Month 2023: Dr Matilda Azong Cho

Dr Matilda Azong Cho is a postdoctoral researcher at the Future Africa Sustainable Food Systems Research Chair (FA-SFS). Her work is at the intersection of sustainable food systems, environmental management, and social inclusivity, and has the potential to make a lasting impact in Africa and beyond.

Dr Cho's academic journey began with a certificate in the arts, followed by a degree in Women's Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology. This gave her a unique perspective on the world and prepared her for her subsequent studies in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, which laid the foundation for her career in Environmental Management. She continued her education with a PhD in Environmental Management.

Combining all the knowledge and experiences gained from her journey, Dr Cho developed a firm foundation in multidisciplinary research by integrating a gender perspective in studying rural agrarian communities' vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation to climate change. This has allowed her to gain a holistic understanding of complex issues. Dr Cho's research is dedicated to bridging the gap between research and real-world application. Her research areas—land, water, and energy nexus, gender inclusivity, and sustainable food systems—are crucial for the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Her focus on integrating gender perspectives into her work acknowledges the unique challenges faced by different segments of society, particularly women.

"The road to greatness is narrow and rocky" says Dr Cho."There will be challenges along the way, but you must keep going. Get up when you fall, and never give up. You can never make it on your own, so find mentors to support you on your career journey. Don't be shy to ask for help. Take care of your health and adopt a healthy lifestyle. And most importantly, look up to God for divine wisdom and strength”. This is the advice Dr Cho would have given to her younger self. A reminder that challenges are a natural part of the journey toward greatness.

Furthermore, her emphasis on collaboration and mentorship reflects the understanding that success often requires support from a network of peers and mentors. This is a valuable lesson for anyone pursuing a career in academia or research.

Looking to the future, Dr Cho's aspires to contribute to international organisations that focus on socio-economic and environmental challenges faced by disadvantaged groups, especially women. With role models like her late mother, Dr Thuli Madonsela, and Prof Ayangwe Stella, Dr Cho is inspired to continue striving for excellence and contribute to promoting equity and sustainability on a broader scale.

Dr Cho's research is dedicated to bridging the gap between research and real-world application. Her research areas—land, water, and energy nexus, gender inclusivity, and sustainable food systems—are crucial for the advancement of the UN SDGs



Dr Matilda Azong Cho

In a world where the pursuit of meaningful change requires interdisciplinary collaboration, social awareness, and an unwavering spirit, Dr Cho's story serves as an inspiration and a reminder that positive impact is achievable through perseverance and dedication.