UFH Young Academic takes joint research to Paris

Read time: 3 mins

Mr Sithenkosi Lungisa, UFH scholar and Prof Ogo Nzewi (former UFH Academic).


Mr Sithenkosi Lungisa, a young emerging researcher at the University of Fort Hare’s (UFH) Faculty of Management and Commerce, recently returned from Paris, France, where he and former UFH Academic, Prof Ogo Nzewi presented a co-edited research paper that presents a pragmatic indigenous African entrepreneurship model that seeks to improve the South African economy. 

The week-long stay at the IESEG School of Management came as a result of the South Africa/France PROTEA Programme, which is a bilateral incentive programme dedicated to strengthening collaborative research between the two countries. It is co-funded by both the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research from the French side, and the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) from the South African side.

At the end of 2022, Prof Nzewi was appointed as the Principal Investigator in collaboration with Prof Linda Zhang from the IESEG School of Management. With the recent departure of Prof Nzewi, UFH scholar, Prof Oni Olabanji has been appointed as lead Principal Investigator.

Mr Lungisa, aged 29, is a scholar in the discipline of Public Administration. He has lectured at undergraduate level and supervised honours students and has published widely in the field of local government.

His research areas are human resource management and organisational development. He is as well a reviewer for the South African Journal of Human Resource Management (SAJHRM) and the Journal of Local Government Research and Innovation (JOLGRI). He is a fellow of the Fort Hare Autumn School and Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

He is a member of the scientific disciplines of Public Administration; South African Association of Public Administration and Management (SAAPAM); and Association of Southern African Schools and Departments of Public Administration and Management (ASSADPAM). He is also a member of various committees in the university and served at various leadership levels. 

During their stay in Paris, the academics participated in a research writing retreat where two articles on different topics around the project were developed.  The first topic being on Indigenous African Entrepreneurship and rural entrepreneurship in the 4IR age, where the following question was posed: “Can 4IR reduce rural dependency and convert IAE knowledge bases in our rural bases into a productive economy?”

The second topic focused on the juxtaposition of urban and rural entrepreneurship intentions in Sangoma communities of Practice: A theory of Planned Behaviour approach.

The research paper by Mr Lungisa, Prof Nzewi, Prof Olabnji, and four other academics from IESEG (Prof Zhang); the University of Kigali in Rwanda; Cape Peninsula University of Technology and De Montfort University in the UK, titled: A Pragmatic Indigenous African Entrepreneurship Model for Improving South African Economy was presented at a seminar organised by the host.

The model is presented as an Indigenous African Entrepreneurship Education model focused as an intervention from the conception stage of the Entrepreneurs’ journey and is aimed at increasing the Total Early Entrepreneurial Activity for South African entrepreneurs as they transition from potential/nascent entrepreneurs to owners of businesses.

It argues that key important attributes and variables of Indigenous entrepreneurship education practice (in this case apprenticeships) if adapted to current South African realities, will benefit South African current Entrepreneurship Education policy and systems. 

Commenting on this experience, Mr Lungisa said: “Considering that I’m still an emerging scholar the programme has, to a greater extent, provided me with the ability and capability of initiating, developing, and expanding research projects.”

“Furthermore, it has provided me as a young researcher and a scholar the opportunity to cooperate in an international setting and to develop my scientific career at an early age. This, in return, has contributed to the advancement of my basic and applied research skills and knowledge which will allow me to contribute in a meaningful way to research that transforms our society.”