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Distinguished Lecture Series – Research-based Innovation in Africa
If Africa is to capture value from the global shift to a digital economy, research and innovation skills should take priority. Africa will never be able to compete in automation with the likes of the USA, U.K., China and India unless education and business succeed together.
If more scholars were to translate their research into business innovations, they could transform Africa, contends Marcia Mkansi, our Distinguished Lecture Series speaker for Feb. 15.
Universities are gold mines for local solutions. Mkansi says it is crucial that scholars re-imagine research beyond publication to include innovation.
It also is critical for researchers to extend their partnerships across the African continent, through projects at the local, national and continental level. Only in this way will sufficient knowledge, industrialization and learnings be gathered and shared.
Such partnerships are necessary for Africa’s economic diversification and resilience. The African Union Agenda 2063 aims to pursue inclusive growth and sustainable development within an integrated African continent.
In her lecture, Mkansi, a professor at the University of South Africa, will talk about optimizing research-based intellectual property to address sustainable development challenges.
Specific challenges she will discuss include green innovation and technology that supports well-being and sustainability. Her talk also will cover modeling and data development policy for economic and supply chain transformations toward sustainability.
About the speaker:
Marcia Mkansi is head of research, post-graduate studies, innovation and commercialization for the College of Economics and Management Sciences at the University of South Africa. She also is a prolific innovator, with a focus on societal research and human capital development.
In 2021, a mobile app she developed to track malaria drug stocks reached the semi-finals of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology global solver challenge.
The prior year, her Research Methods Index innovation earned second place in the European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies. The index helps graduate students select a best-fit research framework based on their attributes, philosophies and paradigms.
Also in 2020, she was named “Most Prolific Innovator Over the Past Five Years” at her university. She made six disclosures in that period, mostly for software-related innovations intended to improve supply and distribution networks.
Mkansi holds a PhD in supply chain management and electronic business from the University of Bolton in the U.K.