Cynthia Kwakyewah

Cynthia Kwakyewah

Cynthia Kwakyewah

DPhil in Sociology

Supervisor: Leigh Payne

Cynthia Kwakyewah is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Oxford, undertaking research in business and human rights in Ghana's extractive industries. Her doctoral study seeks to uncover the factors that drive changes in companies’ human rights practices. 

In addition to her research focus on business and human rights and corporate social responsibility, Cynthia also takes great academic interests in sustainable development, management of natural resources in the Global South, governance and politics in Sub-Saharan Africa and issues of social justice.  

Before commencing her doctoral studies at the University of Oxford, Cynthia completed a bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, specialising in Business and International Human Rights Law from York University (Canada). She’s the recipient of the Governor General’s Gold Medal (2018).   

Cynthia worked as a Research Associate on a variety of projects including the Africapitalism project: Exploring the role of the private sector in the sustainable development of Africa which was funded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Cynthia’s work has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, Business Strategy and the Environment and The Transnational Human Rights Review (see 

As a firm believer in doing research for development (R4D), Cynthia interned with the Legal Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghana and the Minerals Commission, Ghana to disseminate her findings beyond an academic audience. With the support of the John Fell Fund, Cynthia is presently constructing an original database on business-related human rights abuses, focusing on the natural resource sectors (e.g. mining, oil, and gas etc.) of various Sub-Saharan African countries.