Kogod School of Business

The Chandaria School of Business Executive on Thursday, February 1 held a meeting with Dr. Siri Terjesen, who is Dean’s Research Fellow in Entrepreneurship at American University’s Kogod School of Business and Director of the American University’s Center for Innovation. The meeting discussed faculty and student exchanges, accreditation processes, and linkages to other universities, all of which are expected to be included in a forthcoming agreement between the two schools.

One of the immediate proposed benefits of such an agreement would the realization of a new Global Study Tour destination for the current cohort of MBA (Global Business Management) students, to the U.S. capital of Washington D.C. where the American University’s campus is located. The Tour is held every summer semester.

Other senior Chandaria School of Business officials who attended the meeting included Prof. Peter Lewa (Dean), Dr. Teresia Linge (Associate Dean), Dr. Francis Gatumo (Program Director - Finance & Accounting Programs), Dr. Kefah Njenga (Assistant Professor of Organizational Development), Mr. Patrick Mulindi (Program Director - Tourism Management, Hotel & Restaurant Management Programs), Prof. Kang’ethe Iraki (Professor of French) and Ms. Kellen Njagi (International Students Officer).

In this day and age almost nothing in our day to day activities is untouched by technology. Most communication in business is rarely done face to face in relation to virtual communication for instance: customer communication with banks, household bill payments or retail markets giving options for payment to consumers via mobile phone or cards. A large number of our current students have grown up alongside technology if not having actively interacted with screens from primary school.

Technological disruption in various industries has demanded the uptake or inculcation of technology into the way people do business whether it is for communication purposes, distribution or operations, as well as expecting the consumer to take a hands-on approach in how they partake in services from providers for instance, the airline ticketing process. Considering most, if not all of us, use technology from the time we wake up to when we get back to bed, we are aware that it is here to stay.

The potential for growth in the industry can also be seen through the Government of Kenya’s investment as reflected in the 2017/2018 budget, where close to KES 15.6 billion is allocated to the ICT sector. In addition, according to the 2017 Economic Outlook by Deloitte, Kenya’s internet connectivity has increased by 25% in the last 3 years, with fibre optic connectivity accounting for nearly 97% of underground internet connections, therefore boosting connectivity in Kenya and the world. Cloud computing and broader IT services markets have also benefitted from the modernization of the public and private sectors.

The quick espousal of technology from home, to cars, to class, to office and business, gives a good indication of the importance of a career in the IT industry. So as an APT and IST major student, what skills can give one an edge over others in this fast-growing field?

Skills required of successful IT professionals:

Analytical skills: This is essential in problem-solving which is a major part of a career in IT, where one is required to look at problems from various angles, analyze them and provide/recommend the best solutions available.

Interpersonal skills: This goes against the stereotype that technology professionals are unsociable people who like to work alone or with technology only. Technology is now a big part of how business is done through various departments, and therefore professional in this field need to know how to comfortably listen, speak and explain solutions to their others in organizations.

Focus: IT professionals who can concentrate on a task or work on solutions to problems without getting distracted will be more valuable than those who are not.

Multitasking: While we spoke of being focused on a task, it is also important as an IT professional to multitask. In most roles, IT professionals will be asked to troubleshoot or help out with an issue internal or external to the organization. Even if one is working on a specific project, various other requests may come up that would need to get addressed.

Proactivity: Technology can be viewed as both a good thing and a bad thing in organizations. It can help save time when used effectively, but also slow things down if people don’t know how to use its tools or if it’s not working well. A functioning help desk can solve a lot of these issues and contribute to the output of the organization.
In the sports world, the men’s rugby team flogged Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) 25-5 in the ongoing Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) Championship League on Sunday, January 28. The team will travel to Ukunda this weekend to battle out with South Coast Pirates.

The ladies hockey team beat both Sliders and Mt. Kenya University 1-0 in the ongoing Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Women’s Premier League. However, the men’s hockey team recorded a goalless match against Kenyatta University (Ruiru).

This coming weekend, the ladies hockey team are set to meet Strathmore University and Mombasa Sport Club (MSC) in the KHU Women Premier League, as the men compete with Mt. Kenya University at JKUAT and Western Jaguars at City Park in KUSA League and the KHU Men’s Premier League respectively.

The basketball men’s basketball team recorded mixed reaction after beating Kenyatta University (Ruiru Campus) 58-39 but lost to Kenyatta University (Main Campus) 61-39 in the Kenya Universities Sports Association (KUSA) League at USIU-Africa basketball pitch.

Their female counterparts lost two matches to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) at Strathmore University on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28.

The men’s basketball team will meet JKUAT and St. Paul’s University in JKUAT while the ladies meet KPA this coming weekend in the KUSA League and KBF Women’s Premier League respectively.

Both the ladies volleyball and soccer teams lost to Kenya College of Accounting (KCA) and Kenyatta University 1-3 and 0-1 respectively, in the ongoing KUSA League. This weekend the ladies volleyball team will meet JKUAT, while the ladies’ soccer team encounter Gretsa University on the same campus.

The ladies karate team clinched 3rd position, while their male counterparts secured the 4th position after Mt. Kenya University, Kenyatta University and St. Paul’s University in the karate kata competition. The ladies team further emerged 2nd, as the men clinched the 3rd position in karate kumite competitions respectively in the ongoing KUSA Nairobi Karate Conference.

In tae-kwon-do, the men’s team won 4 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze medals to place them in the 1st position, while the ladies team emerged 2nd with 2 silver medals. Thus USIU-Africa-Africa emerged first runners-up in the KUSA Nairobi Tae-kwon-do Conference.
As part of the process of re-affirming the accreditation of the University, our accrediting body – WASC Senior College and University Commission – conducted an Off Site Review via teleconference, on Wednesday, January 31. The review is part of a three-stage process that began in 2016, which is expected to conclude this year. In brief, the re-affirmation of reaccreditation, is a formal process of confirming - every ten years - the accreditation status enjoyed by a university.

For the first step, USIU-Africa send to WSCUC, an institutional self-study report, which now triggered the off-site review – where various university units and stakeholders were represented. The outcome of the review will inform the final step in the process; the on-campus visit expected during this year’s Fall Semester.

Accreditation is a testament to the academic quality and educational effectiveness of higher learning institutions, giving confidence to both graduates and employers, of the quality of education offered by a particular institution. USIU-Africa is the only university in East and Central Africa to enjoy dual accreditation; in Kenya by the Commission for University Education (CUE) and in the United States by WSCUC. CUE re-accredited the University in 2016, and WSCUC is expected to re-affirm our accreditation at the end of this process.
International Relations students from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences paid a visit to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kenya on Friday, January 26. Their purpose was to gain an understanding of Norway’s foreign policy and their key interests in Kenya and Africa, preparation for the group’s participation in the Sixty-Fourth Session of the Harvard National Model United Nations.

While making a presentation to the delegation led by Mr. Ahmed Kadid Adan (School of Humanities and Social Sciences Representative at the Student Affairs Council) on Norwegian foreign and UN policy, Mr. David C. Jourdan (Political Counselor, Royal Norwegian Embassy), underlined the necessity of a well-functioning global legal order, “It is crucial that relations between states are regulated by a network of binding rules and regulations.”

The delegation will represent the Kingdom of Norway, among other countries, at the annual United Nations simulation exercise to be held in American city of Boston from February 15 - 18.
n Wednesday, January 24, Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza led a USIU-Africa delegation to a meeting with H.E. Mr. Kwon Young Dae, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Kenya, at the Korean embassy in Nairobi, to explore a partnership between USIU-Africa and the embassy given its potential to effect positive change in society.

The agenda of the meeting was to create and foster strong collaborations with the embassy in the following areas: Faculty Development; Faculty and Student Exchanges; Development of STEM Disciplines; Student Recruitment; Establishment of a Research Park; Resources for Equipment and Infrastructure; and Unrestricted Funding for Development.

While both parties are poised to be enriched with knowledge on language and culture as a result of collaboration, USIU-Africa students would benefit by receiving scholarships, internships and placements based on linkages with the embassy, while our faculty would gain access to training programs offered by Korean agencies, and finally both parties would benefit from the language institute as well as research collaborations.

Accompanying Prof. Zeleza were Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono (DVC - Academic & Student Affairs), Mr. James Ogolla (Director of University Advancement) Dr. Paul Okanda (Director of ICT), Prof. Munyae Mulinge (Associate DVC – Academic Affairs), Prof. Njeri Wamae (Dean - School of Pharmacy & Health Sciences), Dr. Michael Kihara (Ag. Associate Dean ­ School of Humanities & Social Sciences), Dr. Elijah Munyi (Assistant Professor of International Relations), Dr. Naom Nyarigoti (Assistant Professor of Pharmacy), Ms. Carren Jumba and Ms. Joanne Alividza of the Office of Fundraising. 

One immediate benefit accruing from the meeting was the visit on Wednesday, January 31, by Handong Global University (HGU), which was facilitated by the Korean embassy.
Information Systems and Technology (IST) and Applied Computer Technology (APT) seniors and recent graduates from USIU-Africa and other universities around Africa, will soon have an opportunity to join a 6-month skill development program. The program - dubbed AppFactory - is a collaboration between the School of Science and Technology (SST) and Microsoft Skills4Afrika, and will be officially launched this coming Wednesday, February 7 at the Incubation and Innovation Center.

The AppFactory is designed to be an engine for development of skilled talents, capable of responding industry needs and effectively contributing to the regional entrepreneurship ecosystem. The program is also expected to serve as a research and development lab for developing innovative ICT projects, and forming part of the digital transformation program for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Skills4Afrika Initiative is Microsoft’s business and market development engine in Africa launched in 2013, which aims to unlock and accelerate Africa’s potential as well as create technology not only for the continent, but for the world. The initiative focuses on world-class skills, access and innovation to empower people to turn great ideas into a reality, enhance livelihoods and accelerate Africa’s digital transformation.

The School of Science and Technology intends to use the program to further prepare for, and link its Information Systems and Technology (IST) and Applied Computer Technology students with industry, as well as increase their employability, by giving them the skills to break down business problems and design solutions for industry partners using cutting edge technology.
On February, 1 2018, 25 executive members of the Alumni community attended a forum held at the IBM Innovation Center, and organized by African Process and Performance Institute (APPI) in partnership with USIU-Africa’s Chandaria School of Business and the Office of Alumni Relations.

The event aimed at empowering executives to embrace smart processes in their businesses as well as adopt design thinking. Design thinking is a proven and repeatable problem-solving protocol that any business can employ to achieve extraordinary results.

In his welcome remarks, Prof. Peter Lewa (Professor of Management Dean - Chandaria School of Business), mentioned that the partnership with APPI will enable USIU-Africa produce individuals that are well equipped for the work environment. Through his presentation, Mr. Humphrey Odhiambo, Editor CIO East Africa, encouraged the participants to identify gaps between their strategies and execution, problems driving them and come up with ways of bridging them.

APPI Managing Director, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo, urged the audience to embrace Consistent, Responsive, Efficient, Profitable, Effective and Sustainable (CREPES) thinking, while Mr. Silas Macharia from IBM, through his presentation reiterated that design and process thinking is very vital for any business.

The African Process and Performance Institute (APPI) program is uniquely designed to develop and enable the next generation of Africa leaders to be driven by performance results.

This career-focused program is tailored to prepare and empower governments, businesses, and organizations across Africa with cutting-edge skills and knowledge in Business Process Management (BPM) and Performance Analytics to make better decisions and thus achieve stated goals.
Members of the Educate Your Own (EYO) student initiative, are inviting applications for the award of three scholarship grants each worth KES 25,000, for the Spring 2018 Semester, to students who meet the selection criteria. Those who wish to be considered for the award are advised to apply through the Office of Financial Aid by Friday, February 9, 2018.

The student-led initiative is seeking to reduce the number of student who fail to complete their education at USIU-Africa due to financial difficulty. The latest round of scholarship grants, will raise the total number of beneficiaries from the scholarship fund since its inception in 2016 to 17.

Meanwhile, EYO’s Project Finje has commenced collecting micro donations as part of their semester-long fundraising activities. The project, which derives its name from the ‘sheng’ word for KES 50 successfully mobilized significant funds during the 2016-17 financial year.
As part of USIU-Africa’s move to become paperless, as well as seek innovative solutions that will enhance efficiency and effectiveness, the Division of Information Communication and Technology, Legal Services and Finance divisions, together with Coseke Ltd trained members of staff on how to use the new Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) on Friday, January 26.

EDMS is a software system that provides a comprehensive solution for managing the creation, capture, indexing, storage, retrieval, and disposition of records and information assets of an organization.

The EDMS system which will be up and running from March 1, 2018, seeks to streamline, improve and simplify the University’s procurement process by placing it onto an online platform, where users will be able get email alerts once the procurement process is initiated, when digital signatures are appended at various approval stages, and LPO reference links are updated, to inform the client, that the vendor is already working to deliver the goods or services.

In addition, the system will also digitalize the contract renewal and policy management processes, in which client departments will receive alerts when a contract or a policy is due to expire or at the beginning of the contract or policy renewal process, digital signatures appended at various approval stages and downloadable reports on the status of the contract or the policy.