PhD Student Graduates with his Native Tanzania Uppermost in his Mind
For Tanzanian-born Dr Edison Lubua graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems and Technology at the age of 32 is all about showing young people from rural disadvantaged communities that it is possible to achieve quality education even if it is beyond their borders.
Although working in Tanzania and studying in South Africa presented a lot of challenges in terms of academic, professional and personal responsibilities, Lubua knew that his research titled: “Adoption of e-Transparency in the Public Sector of Tanzania”, would be very useful to the Tanzanian community especially now that the nation is formulating its comprehensive National Information Communication Technology (ICT) policy.
‘My decision to pursue a doctorate was the result of challenges I faced in meeting my career goals. It was my desire to have a research career in technology.
‘While many citizens are increasingly adopting ICTs, their governments are still struggling with attendant issues of secrecy and transparency. I therefore decided to evaluate factors that influence the implementation of electronic transparent services in the Tanzanian public sector,’ he said.
As an ICT Specialist, Trainer and Researcher in the area of IS&T at Tanzania’s Mzumbe University, studying for his PhD at UKZN has created an opportunity for him to engage and network with other professionals across the continent thus creating links for collaborative research.
‘The qualification is vital in enhancing my career in a number of ways. I have broadened my understanding in research – research and teaching is the career I need. I have also managed to network with other professionals across the continent; this provides the room to explore research opportunities across the globe. It is also important to assume that other research stakeholders are now more confident about me, he said.
Although he did the leg work, Lubua is adamant he would have not succeeded in his academic journey were it not for the support of his wife, Agnes, who he married two months after starting his PhD.
In addition, his employer deterred him from quitting his job for his studies and lessened his work load, while his supervisor, Professor Manoj Maharaj, was with him every step of the way.
‘In the beginning I had the challenge of balancing my employment with academic responsibilities; I even thought of quitting my job. I am glad that my employer decided to release me in the second semester. Also, the research activity needed a lot of knowledge from different fields so I consulted anyone who I thought would be useful. Above all, I don’t think there can be a better supervisor than Professor Maharaj, he was very supportive.’
- Thandiwe Jumo