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Dr Rukee Tjingaete Starts IUM’s Budding Research Department

30/06/2016

Dr Rukee Tjingaete is an experienced academic with a strong research background, with over 35 years of experience in both public and private institutions in Namibia and abroad. He brings a wealth of experience to IUM in the field of research. He is a Ph.D. holder in Mass Media Studies from Michigan University, USA. He also holds a Masters degree in Mass Communication Research from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

As coordinator of research at IUM, his roles involve the following:

  1. Ensuring that research is an integral activity of IUM in order to strengthen the quality of the university’s Academic Programmes
  2. Ensuring that research conducted by IUM contributes to academic excellence
  3. Identifying and supporting national development priorities
  4. Assisting the regular publishing of relevant scholarly articles in IUM’s newly introduced Namibia Journal of Managerial Sciences (NJMS)
  5. Assisting IUM post-graduate students with their research work
  6. Ensuring that IUM research division collaborates with other national research institutions to carry out research consultancies that would be beneficial to the University
  7. Bringing about a research and publishing culture at the University

Dr Tjingaete asserts that many Namibian institutions do not take research seriously. They think that counting the faces of two people sitting around a fire in a village gives a total picture of the size of a household upon which all the other variables such as per capita income, poverty, unemployment, literacy, health, inflation, education and social awareness of the country can be measured.

“We forget that a village may also consist of nomads, hunters and shepherds who for one reason or the other are over the borders or those who even feel that it is taboo to be counted.”

The IUM scholar feels that many research institutions have become means of obtaining fast-bucks because those who commission them sometimes have no idea about what the research data/findings represent.

“Although it is not always the case, I sometimes hesitate to believe without question, the findings from research conducted by public research institutions for public institutions. Why? You cannot bite the hand that feeds you. For example, if the findings are extremely implicating government of poor service, the head of that research institution will not be brave enough to tell their clients.”

Dr Tjingaete gives, as an example, the recently disputed labour survey results about the unemployment rate in Namibia. He suspects that current national statistics about unemployment and inflation may not be accurate because Namibian research institutions or experts are sometimes using methods designed for developed nations, to compile statistics in a context of under-development.

He suspects that the zeal to attract foreign investment compels developing nations to provide an over-optimistic picture which does not reflect the gross picture of the true nature of underdevelopment. He further uses the same context to express profound doubts about the introduction of the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) and its application.

“While its introduction in Namibia by the NTB is a very good thing, its application is too complex and requires highly qualified mathematicians and micro-economists. Africa suffers from a high brain-drain which is why the application of the TSA in the context of Africa always demands the services of international consultants. Since we do not have the capacity to implement the system, its findings remain suspect.”

Despite the challenging task with research, Dr Tjingaete finds joy because of the highly qualified academics that he works with as they are always willing to share their views.

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