By Prisca Adaeze Nenger

Today, at Kampala International University (KIU), the Office of the Vice-chancellor together with the Directorate of Higher Degrees and Research – DHDR, hosts the formal launching of two books ‘MOBILE AFRICA’ and ‘ROAMING AFRICA’, edited by Prof. Dr. Mirjam Van Reisen and others.

Prof Mirjam is a Professor of Computing for Society at Leiden University and a Professor of International Relations, Innovation & Care at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

Why we made this book?

In her statement, Prof. Dr. Mirjam van Reisen noted that one of the reasons for writing the book is the fact that quite a lot of work in the contemporary age are in digital forms, citing an example with the internet of data and things. Also, it has been discovered that data is the new gold and/or fuel of the economy in Africa, yet they are being extracted from Africa daily to be used in Europe and Asian countries like China.

Furthermore, Prof. Reisen asked the question – where does the problem of migration come from? And where does the idea that migration is a problem coming from? In response to the question posed, she stated that factually, the idea is that again, Europe, has brought its own idea into Africa, and whether migration is a problem is actually a correct statement. Emphasizing the need to understand that in international relations or in international law, migration is actually a problem; “we need to find another approach,” Prof. Reisen remarked.

The nexus between policy and research

On her own, Hon. Hajat Zaminah Malole; Member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, and a policymaker in Uganda, acknowledged that it is time for African researchers to begin to translate their research output into reality by implementing the findings from their research, to formulate new policies or change the old ones where necessary, so that the research will be meaningful or relevant to the society.

“It is important to research on contemporary issues, because we are the ones that face the problems ourselves, if we have to contribute to sustainable development goals (SDGs), to align the kind of research we are doing to where we are going at a regional or global level, since we have our own unique problems, we have to devise our unique ways of solving the problem”, Hon. Malole categorically stated.

About the books

The books discuss the nexus of resilience migration and digital connectivity. The research is a result of close collaboration among scholars from African countries including Uganda, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, among others. The scholarly work provides clear insights that can inform policymakers on newly emerging issues. These books showcase exciting research from several emerging scholars who share new theories on mobility from an African perspective.

Launching the Book

The Vice-chancellor KIU; Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo thanked the authors for choosing KIU as a host for their book launch, at the time the institution is really transitioning from just a teaching institution to a research-based institution. The Vice-chancellor again appreciated the authors for also accepting to make the book available in the university repository for all members of KIU community to benefit from. After which he formally launched the books ‘MOBILE AFRICA’ and ‘ROAMING AFRICA’.

The event was well-attended by KIU management and staff members from various campuses.

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