Full-time staff

Sanya Osha

Position: 
Research Fellow
Email Address: 
Oshaoo@tut.ac.za
Telephone Number: 
012 382 3046
Biography: 

Sanya Osha holds a PhD. in Philosophy and taught the discipline in Nigerian universities for a decade. He has published extensively on anthropology, cultural studies, knowledge systems of Africa, the politics of the West African region and also the sociopolitical and cultural realities of Southern Africa. He has undertaken extensive research on the discursive status of African systems of knowledge. Currently, he is studying sociological and political aspects in the field of innovations studies. As an academic, he has held the following research positions; overseas research fellow, National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) and fellow, Centre for Rhetoric Studies, University of Cape Town, 2002; visiting scholar, Smith College, U.S.A., 2003; visiting scholar, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, September to November, 2003; visiting fellow, African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands, 2005. In addition, he was a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Kwa-Zulu-Natal, Durban for almost three years. He was also a senior researcher at the School for Graduate Studies, University of South Africa between 2007 and 2009. He joined the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI), Tshwane University of Technology as a research fellow in 2009. Between 2011 and 2012, he was a fellow of the Africa Institute for South Africa (AISA). At IERI, he teaches and co-ordinates courses on the M.Tech programme, Comparative Local Development.

His previous work has appeared in Transition, Socialism and Democracy, Research in African Literatures, QUEST: An African Journal of Philosophy, Africa Review of Books and the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Fiction. In 2010, a series of his articles on knowledge appeared in the Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought. He is the author of Kwasi Wiredu and Beyond: The Text, Writing and Thought in Africa (2005), Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Shadow: Politics, Nationalism and the Ogoni Protest Movement (2007) Postethnophilosophy (2011) and African Postcolonial Modernity: Informal Subjectivities and the Democratic Consensus (2014).) He is also the editor of The Social Contract in Africa (2014).

Mario Scerri

Position: 
Senior Research Fellow & Professor of Economics
Email Address: 
mario@ieri.org.za
Telephone Number: 
+27 (0)82 333 7521
Biography: 

Mario Scerri is a Senior Research Fellow at IERI and a Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Economics and Finance at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and STI Policy in the Faculty of Economics at the Tshwane University of Technology.  He is also a Professor Extraordinary in the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa and a Visiting Senior Researcher at the School of Economics and Business Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. 

  He was the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Finance at the Tshwane University of Technology from 2004 to 2007 and before that the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the Technikon North-West (South Africa) from 2001 to 2003.  Prior to that, he taught economics at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) for seventeen years.

His research focus is on the evolution of innovation systems, specifically within sub-Saharan Africa, primarily from a political economy perspective.  He has also worked on various aspects of the national systems of innovation of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies and on the integration of systems of innovation in sub-Saharan Africa.  He has written on the determinants of R&D expenditures in manufacturing industries, on local innovation systems and on the relationship between the state and the national system of innovation in South Africa. He has also written on the teaching of undergraduate economics and of the economics of innovation.  

He is the author of The Evolution of the South African System of Innovation since 1916 (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009).  He is the editor of The Emergence of Systems of Innovation in South(ern) Africa: Long Histories and Contemporary Debates (Johannesburg: MISTRA and Real African Publishers, 2016).   He is also the co-editor of three books on the national systems of innovation in the BRICS (New Delhi: Routledge, 2013)and was the co-editor of the book Measuring Innovation in OECD and non-OECD Countries (Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2006). .  He has published articles in the STI Policy Review, the International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, the South African Journal of Economics, the South African Journal of International Affairs and the African Development Review. He is the author of chapters in the following books: The Political Economy of Indian Ocean Maritime Africa (New Delhi: Pentagon Press, 2015), The Africana World: From Fragmentation to Unity and Renaissance (South Africa: Africa Institute of South Africa), Local Economies and Global Competitiveness (UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), Universities in Transition - the Changing Role and Challenges for Academic Institutions (New York: IDRC Publishing & Springer, 2011), The Indian Ocean Rim: Southern Africa and Regional Co-operation., (New York: Routledge-Curzon, 2003) and Putting Africa First: The Making of African Innovation Systems. (Denmark: Aalborg University Press, 2003.

Lindile L. Ndabeni

Position: 
Research Fellow & Senior Lecturer
Email Address: 
ndabenil@tut.ac.za
Biography: 

Lindile is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation (IERI) and an academic at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). His educational background is in English as Second Language, History, Education, Development Planning, Economic Geography and Entrepreneurship. At TUT he teaches research methodology at B-Tech and Master Levels and Sustainable Local Development at Master level.

The Research Methodology Course is intended to provide an in-depth examination of research methodology as a science and practice of producing knowledge. Accordingly, the course introduces students to useful concepts regarding the science of research. The course includes an understanding of conceptualization and development of conceptual frameworks that guide the formulation of research questions and the choice of research methodology. That is to say, the course serves as a foundational way of introducing students to the science and techniques of producing scientific knowledge.

An attempt is made to assist the students towards being able to write a proper research topic and sound statement of a research problem, carry out a systematic review of related literature, select method/s of collecting, analyze and interpret the research data. It is expected that students will understand how to produce a reasonable piece of research work and be able to read more advanced texts with better understanding.

Students are also expected to demonstrate mastery of challenging concepts and skills to read theory and research, demonstrate understanding of the content of what they read, and effectively apply and integrate that literature into writing academic projects of their own. Indeed, students are required to develop advanced capabilities that may not be needed in the undergraduate study; demonstrate a genuine desire to expand their knowledge and consequently contribute to knowledge production as scientists; demonstrate the ability to work independently; and grow as critical and independent thinkers.

More specifically, the course highlights a number of challenges in the teaching of research methodology:

  • The tension between pre-theoretical thought and theoretical thought.
  • The contention that reality is not an objective material.
  • Dealing with ambiguity.
  • Dealing with conflicting evidence.
  • Analysis of abstraction.
  • Understanding that science aims at general patterns.
  • Theoretical thought has structure.
  • Integrating perspectives from different and multiple levels.
  • Adopting a theoretical attitude.
  • The battle of world views.
  • Tension between generalization and specificities.

By contrast, the Sustainable Local Development course highlights a number of issues. One, that conventional approaches to local development have not been successful in solving the problems of poverty, unemployment, and development of human capabilities. Logically, there is a need to generate alternative approaches of development that are grounded on real geography of the localities of the developing world. Such approaches should address the legacy of the past which highlights itself through isolation, deprivation, poverty, inequality, and effects of the migrant labour system. Two, that sustainable local development should inter alia, Enhance the role of local government in local development; Help accelerate integration of isolated localities; Enhance democracy and democratic participation; and, Build human capabilities. That is to say, sustainable local development should go beyond criteria based on indices of per capita income as that often hides some realities that poor do not necessarily benefit from economic growth. It should include inter alia; Human development; Economic development; Political development; and, Social development. Three, that sustainable local development depends to a great extent on how knowledge is successfully generated and applied. That is to say, the changing context for local development points to a strong need to understand and adopt the innovation systems approach as an analytical framework. Indeed, the innovation systems approach recognizes the unique geography of the locality. Thus it facilitates the generation of relevant knowledge, provides access to knowledge, enables knowledge sharing, and emphasizes learning. Finally, the focus on local development is important as it contributes to deepening of democracy at local level and use of local knowledge for local development. This has further implications in terms of transforming the way local government operates. The course stresses an evolving process of local development that is truly embedded in local geography.

As part of competency building in government, in 2005-06 Lindile was seconded to the National Department of Science and Technology (Republic of South Africa) as director responsible for human capital.

His knowledge, expertise and research interests are in the following areas:

  • Rural Economic Development
  • Local Economic Development
  • Science and Technology for Development
  • Social Exclusion and Strategies for Social Inclusion
  • Agricultural Systems of Innovation
  • The Role of Local Knowledge in Local Development
  • Policy and Strategy Formulation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • The Teaching of Research Methodology

Erika Kraemer-Mbula

Position: 
Research Fellow & Senior Lecturer
Email Address: 
erika@ieri.org.za
Telephone Number: 
+27 (0)12 382 3073
Biography: 

Erika Kraemer-Mbula is a Senior Lecturer & Research Fellow at the Institute for Economic Research at Tshwane University of Technology (South Africa). Erika’s research interests are on Science and Technology Policy analysis, innovation systems, sustainable development and various routes to the expansion of creative competencies in Africa, including public policy, learning and international cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation. Initially trained as an Economist, Erika holds a Masters in Science and Technology Policy by SPRU (with distinction) from the Science and Policy Research Unit (University of Sussex, UK), and a doctorate in Development Studies from the University of Oxford. In her academic and professional career, Erika has adopted a cross-disciplinary approach to explore alternative development paths for African countries. She has been a researcher at Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) in Brighton, and the Science and Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, UK – between 2001 and 2011. She is an active member of several international research networks (e.g. Globelics and Africalics) and has co-authored books on 'Industrial Competitiveness in Africa' (ITDG) and 'Innovation and the Development Agenda' (OECD/IDRC).

Rasigan Maharajh

Position: 
Chief Director
Email Address: 
rasigan@ieri.org.za
Telephone Number: 
+27 (0)12 382 3076
Biography: 

Professor Rasigan Maharajh is concurrently Nodal Head of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation’ Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy; the founding Chief Director of the Institute for Economic Research on Innovation at Tshwane University of Technology; Professor Extraordinary at the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology of Stellenbosch University; an Associate Research Fellow of the Tellus Institute in Boston; and the Chairperson of the Southern Africa Node of the Millennium Project. 

Professor Maharajh was previously: Visiting Professor at Rede de Pesquisa em Sistemas e Arranjos Produtivos e Inovativos Locais in the Instituto de Economia of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Visiting Research Scholar at the George Perkins Marsh Institute of Clark University, USA; Head of Policy at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research; and National Coordinator of the Science and Technology Policy Transition Project for South Africa’s first democratic government. Before these deployments, Rasigan was: Senior Researcher at the Education Policy Unit of the University of Natal; National Coordinator and Researcher at Operation Upgrade of Southern Africa; Research Assistant at the Macro-Education Policy Unit of the University of Durban-Westville; Research Assistant at the Labour and Community Project of the South African Council for Higher Education; and a Casual Labourer at Pick and Pay Supermarkets. During the struggle against the apartheid regime, Rasigan held elected leadership positions within the: United Democratic Front, Congress of South African Trade Unions, and the African National Congress. 

Professor Maharajh holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree granted by the Forskningspolitiska Institutet (Research Policy Institute), School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Sweden; and he is also an alumnus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal of South Africa and the Harvard Business School of the United States. Rasigan is a Ministerial Representative on the Council of Rhodes University and an elected Senator of Tshwane University of Technology. In the past decade, Rasigan has contributed to more than 65 publications, and has presented his research in 37 countries.   

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