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Mamadou Diarra. Mamadou Diarra

MSc National Development and Project Planning (1990-1991)

How would you introduce yourself?

I am from NIGER, a French speaking country in West Africa. I am electrical Engineer graduated from the Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs (Bamako), Mali, West Africa.

After some years of professional experience, in the National Power Utility (NIGELEC) in the Planning Department, I went to the Development and Project Planning Centre, at the University of Bradford for a MSc in National Development and Project Planning in 1990-1991.

In 1996-1997, I was awarded the Humphrey Fellowship for one year professional Development in Energy, Environment and project appraisal at Rutgers University (USA).

How did you come to study at the BCID?

Well, before coming to the University of Bradford, I had a choice among many universities. But a World Bank staff with whom I worked on projects in NIGELEC advised me to do my MSc  at the University of Bradford because it has a great reputation in the field of project appraisal.

I have taken one year off from my job that means without pay. It is a lot of sacrifice.

Fortunately I was lucky to be awarded the British Professional Access Scheme (British Council) from the UK Department of Trade and Industry, for three months and it has really helped me finish my training. Thanks to that fellowship, I got internship with some British Consulting Engineers, such as Sir Alexander and Gibbs in Reading and with Merz and McLeland in Newcastle.

How was the Bradford experience for you?

Really, it was a fantastic experience. In the class, there were students from all over the world: Nepal, India, Pakistan, UK (of course), Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Saint Kitts, etc...and you learnt  a lot with such a melting pot. I lived in an apartment near Barclays Bank, not far from the University.

Has the degree helped you in what you are doing now? How?

I am still in the Department of Studies and Engineering as Assistant to the Director.

The degree has helped me in assessing power projects. With this new knowledge, I have trained about 45 NGOs in project formulation, the staff of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, of the Ministry of Planning and from the Office of the Prime Minister. I have also run many courses on project appraisal.

I ran with some colleagues a seminar on the appraisal of energy projects, three weeks ago. 

I will be glad to exchange case studies on energy, industrial or mining projects with anyone interested. My email is: 

Where do you live now?

I live in Niamey, the capital city of Niger.

Who was your favourite lecturer and why?

My favourite lecturer was Dr Jioty Majumdar, a senior lecturer from India.

I was, at that time, amazed by the fact he masters very thoroughly Economic Analysis, with a civil engineering background.

Are you still friends with anybody you met at UoB?

Yes, I am still friend with Pr David Potts who was my lecturer in the 1990’s and he is still teaching and writing books on project appraisal at the University of Bradford. I still use his books in my training sessions.

I am also friend with Ms Judy Skelton, my classmate who is living now in London.

Would you send your children to UoB?

Of course, I would send my children to the University of Bradford because of the quality of  education.

Describe the University of Bradford in 3 words?

It is the quality of education, good lecturers, and a very good library, Priestley Library.