Laston Manja currently holds the position of lecturer in economics at the University of Malawi (tenure track). He has been working as a pre-doctoral fellow under Professor Dean Yang from the Department of Economics, assisting in research for, among others, Professor Yang's project titled "The Economics of Health Decision-Making in Mozambique.”

Manja became an ASC affiliate when he was accepted into the UMAPS program in the winter of 2022. His UMAPS research, currently at the working paper stage, centers around understanding the dynamics surrounding cash transfers to spur saving in a developing country context. Laston recalls his time in Ann Arbor as being life-changing. The UMAPS fellowship exposed him to various people and resources, all of which helped him boost his profile. This eventually led to Laston getting admitted to the prestigious Ph.D. in economics at the Rackham School of Graduate Studies for the fall 2023 term.

Manja hopes to keep building on the lessons and connections obtained from his UMAPS fellowship to make a contribution to poverty alleviation in his country of origin, Malawi and beyond. Please join us in welcoming him back!