Kwarteng honoured with an installation on the University of Manchester’s Bicentenary Way


The University of Manchester, established in 1824, is commemorating its 200th anniversary by honouring 200 trailblasing individuals who have significantly contributed to the university and society.

Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng, a distinguished alumnus, is among these honourees. The recognition is part of the university’s Bicentenary Way, an installation located in Brunswick Park, opposite the Queen’s Arch, a prime location at the university’s campus, which highlights key figures and their inspirational contributions over the years.

Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng’s inclusion in this prestigious group is evidence to his impactful work and dedication during his time as a student and the students’ union General Secretary (President) between 2019 to 2021.

Reflecting on this recognition, Kwame expressed his humility and surprise, noting that despite feeling unnoticed at times, his efforts were indeed acknowledged and valued. The discovery of his name on the hexagonal tiles at the university’s garden, alongside luminaries such as Nobel laureates and influential leaders, was an overwhelming and proud moment for him.

Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng’s name engraved in a hexagonal tile at the university of Manchester alongside other honourees. Photo Credit: Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng
A mini blog on the university of Manchester’s website highlighting why Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng was honoured. Photo Credit: a screenshot from

Personal Connection

Kwame’s journey with the University of Manchester began when he received a fully funded merit award from the Global Development Institute (GDI) to pursue a master’s degree in international development, specialising in Globalisation, Trade, and Industry. His tenure at the university was marked by significant leadership and community involvement. He made history as the first international student to be elected General Secretary (President) of the University of Manchester Students’ Union (UMSU), serving from 2019 to 2021.

One of Kwame’s standout memories from his time at the university was the leadership challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He navigated numerous issues, advocating tirelessly for students’ rights and well-being. His negotiation skills were instrumental in securing financial relief and support for students during these unprecedented times. Kwame’s efforts led to millions of pounds being allocated to support students, demonstrating his unwavering commitment to the community.


Kwame’s trailblasing efforts at the University of Manchester are highlighted by numerous significant achievements. According to the university, “Kwame Kwarteng came to the University via a fully funded master’s scholarship from the Global Development Institute. He went on to work with the University as General Secretary of the Students’ Union, sparking a wave of diversity and inclusion and seeing the historic election of an all-international student executive team.

He drove positive transformation including negotiating the largest ever rent reduction, expanding hardship funds to support international students and establishing a master’s scholarship for ten students from Zimbabwe and Malawi annually.”


 His notable accomplishments include but not limited to:

  • Negotiated over £16.5m in rent releases and reduction for students during covid19 pandemic period and established a compensation request system for unresolved maintenance issues.
  • Negotiated over £400,000 in refunds for 436 students for international field trips cancelled due to Covid19
  • Refreshedthe university’s Covid19 hardship fund application process to be inclusive, leading to a successful disbursement of over £200,000 to diverse students
  • Secured a £50,000 grant to provide emergency loans to financially struggling students within 48 hours
  • Established the University of Manchester Students’ Union (UMSU) Impact Scholarship Project, awarding ten fully-funded Masters’ scholarships to students from Zimbabwe and Malawi to pursue any course of their choice annually.
  • Obtaineda £50,000 grant, which was used in establishing a sustainability fund which supports students’ with ideas on environmental sustainability projects
  • Formaliseda joint agreement with the University, safeguarding students’ rights to assignments assessment, graduation, and academic progression during industrial action
  • Fundraised£20,000  for the students union to use in installing sanitary showers in the students’ Union building, enhancing inclusivity for students requiring them for cultural and religious reasons
  • Spearheadednegotiations between student environmentalist groups and the university towards their commitment to divesting from fossil fuels
  • Ngotiated successfully, the revision of students’ admissions contracts, protecting students’ rights to compensations and bargaining in events like pandemics, industrial actions, and family-related challenges that interrupt studies
  • Persuadedthe School of Environment Education and Development (SEED) to lift the registration cap on course units, enabling students to study their chosen course units
  • Supported theManchester Museum’s successful application for the Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-22 and contributed to the development and implementation of the Museum’s fellowship award and the recruitment of the fellow for their south Asian Gallery
  • Establisheda strategic partnership with Masood Entrepreneurship Centre to develop and implement entrepreneurship programmes for over 400 student societies and provided the students’ Union trading unit with pro-bono strategic business advisory support
  • Securedthe university’s commitment to install a braille printer in the library and deliver pre-term-time study-aid training with guaranteed on-campus accommodation for disabled students
  • Convincedthe university to dedicate a standing board committee to annually resolve and report the priority issues presented by the Students Union to the Board of Governors
  • Resolvedfor current and future university hall residents holding a 51-week tenancy agreement to dovetail their existing tenancy agreement to the ensuing year’s agreement, ensuring an uninterrupted stay for international students studying on programmes that is more than an academic year.
  • Pioneeredthe UoM Olympics festival with close to 1000 students participating in over 12 different sports disciplines, to promote social inclusion.
  • Influencedthe university to guarantee postgraduate representation at all university’s academic decision-making tables, groups, boards & committees
  • Persuadedthe university to reschedule all cancelled clinical placements due to covid19, ensuring our medical and health graduates were fully trained
  • Conductedfocus group research with student leaders representing the views of over 1000 students on racial matters, with the findings and recommendations accepted as part of the university’s 2020 race matters report for implementation
  • Researched, evaluated, and presented an independent report to the Office for Students (OfS UK), on the performance of The University of Manchester in implementing the 2019/20 access and participation plans
  • Enhancedthe overall organisational governance effectiveness with high levels of trustees’ satisfaction  (As the trustee board chair) by reviewing the Students’ union’s governance procedures and creating a feedback mechanism for members of the trustee board and board committees
  • Contributedto enhancing the university’s overall communication and governance effectiveness as an appointed member of the university’s governance review and communications strategy review steering boards
  • Convincedthe university to establish the first Staff and Students Wellbeing Governance Group to provide strategic importance and oversight to staff and students wellbeing
  • Negotiatedrent reduction with private accommodation providers on behalf of students during the covid pandemic, leading to accommodation providers awarding student residents with a six-week rent-free period.
  • Ledthe negotiation, planning, and implementation of the first-ever University of Manchester graduate scheme that allows the university to provide the students with the initial experience they need with a guaranteed managerial role



Kwame’s contributions have had a lasting impact on the University of Manchester and beyond. His achievements reflect a profound alignment with the university’s values of diversity, inclusion, and community support. Through his leadership, he fostered a culture of fairness and advocacy, ensuring that students’ voices were heard, and their needs met. His work in establishing fully-funding masters scholarships and financial support mechanisms highlights his commitment to education and empowerment.

Kwame’s efforts resonate with his personal values of fighting for rights and supporting communities especially those with whom the existing statusquo disadvantages them. His well-read Cocoa Diaries newsletter sheds light on the challenges faced by cocoa farmers, demonstrating his dedication to advocating for the marginalised. His work exemplifies how individual actions can lead to significant societal change.


About Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng

Kwame’s story is one of perseverance and determination. Born and raised in Kumasi, Ghana, he attended St. Peter’s Boys R/C JSS and Faith Assemblies of God SSS. With an initial dream of becoming a chef but faced with the objection from his parents, Kwame pursued his next passion for business studies, driven by his love for customer service and helping others. From selling iced water in his childhood to leading impactful initiatives, Kwame’s journey is marked by resilience and a relentless pursuit of knowledge.

After completing his national service at the Offinso North District as a teach at the Adabiya Islamic Primary school, Kwame worked on various projects at The Quantum Group Limited, spanning telecommunications, technology, and cocoa. His curiosity about global trade and industrialisation in the context of the cocoa-chocolate value chain led him to the University of Manchester, where he gained a comprehensive academic understanding of these issues. This knowledge, combined with his professional and personal experiences as a cocoa farmers’ son, fuelled his mission to want to influence policy and practices within the industry and advocate for meaningful change.

Kwame’s initiatives, such as the Cocoa Diaries and PolicyCON, reflect his innovative approach to policymaking. By creating platforms that democratise policy analysis and connect analysts with policymakers, [PolicyCON] he aims to ensure that policies are informed by diverse and authentic perspectives. His work has earned recognition, including the Gold Award (from over 12,000 companies in Europe) for outstanding mentorship during the 2024 virtual internship awards. His startup, PolicyCON was first runner-up in the technology section during the the University of Manchester’s Venture Further Awards 2022

Kwame Asamoah Kwarteng’s journey from Kumasi to being a celebrated trailblazer at the University of Manchester is a story of dedication, impact, and relentless pursuit of justice and equity. His achievements serve as an inspiration, showcasing how one individual can drive significant change and leave a lasting legacy.

For more about Kwame and his ongoing work, visit the Cocoa Diaries Newsletter at and PolicyCON at

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