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Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Science, Technology and Society : Prof. Matthew Luhanga

Mbeya University of Science and Technology

 Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Science, Technology and Society

Lecture Number 2


  (Published on this site with permission from Prof. Matthew Luhanga, the copyright owner of this lecture)

Prof. Matthew L. Luhanga, PhD
Professor of Telecommunications Engineering
University of Dar es Salaam
Fifth Vice Chancellor, University of Dar es Salaam (1991 – 2006)

14 December, 2017

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most
intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)



Artificial intelligence
Agricultural Research Institute
African Union
Chief Executive Officer
Corporate Strategic Plan
East African Community
Gigabits per second
Gross Domestic Expenditure of Research and Development
Gross Enrolment Ratio
Higher Education Expenditure on Research and Development
Information and Communication Technology
Internet of Things
Information Technology Resources Unit
Institutes of Technology Tanzania
Lagos Plan of Action
Megabits per second
Mbeya Institute of Science and Technology
Mbeya Technical College
Mzumbe University
New Partnerships for Africa’s Development
Organization of African Unity
Open University of Tanzania
Research and Development
Science and Technology
Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency/Department for Research Cooperation
Science, Technology and Innovation
Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority
Total Quality Management
University of Dar es Salaam
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
World Intellectual Property Organization


The first lecture in the Chancellor’s Lecture Series on Science, Technology and Society was delivered on 16 December, 2016 by the Chancellor himself, Prof Mark J. Mwandosya. The theme of the lecture was the realization of the potential of the Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST) in assisting Tanzania attain the goals of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025. For the sake of continuity, this second lecture in the Lecture Series will build upon the advice and challenges posed to MUST by the Chancellor in the first lecture. The advice and challenges posed by the Chancellor constitute many examples which are parts of more general concepts. The second lecture argues that for MUST to be responsive to the Chancellor’s advice and challenges it must be strategic and respond to the more general concepts to which the advice and challenges belong. As a way forward this second lecture has aggregated some of the advice and challenges posed by the Chancellor into more general concepts which can serve as a basis by MUST for the definition of strategic objectives of a strategic plan. The more general conceptual framework should make it clear to MUST that the only way it can be responsive to the Chancellor’s advice and challenges is for it to adopt a long-term vision. This lecture also argues that a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for MUST to successfully implement a long-term vision is the re-engineering of MUST.

The central role of science, technology and innovation to the sustainable development of Africa has been acknowledged since 1980.  In an OAU meeting of Heads of State and Government held in Lagos in 1980, African leaders issued the Lagos Plan of Action (LPA) [1].

In order to put science and technology at the centre of development activities in Africa, the Lagos Plan of Action urged that:
Member States should, therefore, adopt measures to ensure the development of an adequate science and technology base and the appropriate application of science and technology in spear-heading development in agriculture; transport and communications; industry, including agro-allied industries; health and sanitation; energy, education and manpower development, housing, urban development and environment.

In order to mobilize funds for science and technology, the Lagos Plan of Action gave several strategies, including:
To demonstrate their political will and commitment to improving the tot (sic) of these (sic) peoples, Member States are urged, within the coming decade, to aim at gradually reaching the target of mobilizing, at the domestic level, 1 per cent of their GDP for the development of their scientific and technological capabilities.

The first AU Ministerial Conference on science and technology in November, 2003 (23 years after LPA) re-affirmed the commitment of AU member countries on increasing funding for R&D to at least 1% of GDP within five (5) years (i.e. by 2008), having missed the original goal of attaining the target by 1990.

The LPA was followed in September, 2005 with the AU and NEPAD adopting the Africa’s Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action, 2006-2016 (CPA) [2].  By a resolution of AU Heads of State and Government in January, 2007, UNESCO was requested to work with the AU/NEPAD Secretariat on the implementation of the CPA.  One of the activities undertaken by UNESCO in implementing this was to offer assistance to members of AU and UNESCO in reviewing and for (re) – formulating their national science and technology policies into national science, technology and innovation policies [3].  In 2007 Tanzania requested such assistance from UNESCO.

In June, 2014, the AU Heads of State and Government adopted the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (STISA) as a successor to the CPA [4].  STISA 2024 is the first of the ten-year phasing strategies for the implementation of Africa’s long-term development program called AU Agenda 2053.  STISA 2024 put STI at the “… epicenter of Africa’s socio-economic development…” [4].  Surprisingly, STISA 2024 does contain the goal of requiring AU Member States to set aside at least 1% of their GDP for R&D but does not set a time limit for the attainment of the goal [4].  The major bottleneck to the attainment of the objectives of the LPA, CDA and, if everything remains the same, the STISA 2024, is funding.  Slow progress by African countries to setting aside at least 1% of GDP to R&D has meant that there is overdependence on foreign funding which tends to be short-term, project-specific funding.  If all countries in Africa had contributed 1% of their GDP in 2014, USD 23 billion would have been raised [4].

No country in Africa has as yet met the commitment of setting aside at least 1% of GDP in support of R&D.  S&T issues are also almost never highlighted in national development plans and strategies.

Funds committed towards R&D is some East African countries in 2016 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 1.

Table 1:  Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD)

Whereas in the developed world business accounts for the larger share of expenditure on R&D, in Africa, local funding of R&D is from government with a negligible contribution by business.  Foreign donor funding also forms a significant part of R&D funding in Africa.

In Africa, highest proportion of science and technology research is conducted in high education institutions.  But, even in this sector, the proportion of expenditure devoted to R&D is small as shown in Table 2 [6].  A comparison of Table 1 and Table 2 clearly shows that the major part of R&D funding in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda goes to higher education.

Table 2:  Higher Education Expenditure on Research and Development (HEERD)

The lack of investment in S&T by African countries has manifested itself in poor performance indicators as exemplified in Table 3 [7].  For each performance indicator, the entries are for Africa and Asia (for comparison) for 2015.  The data on publications is from [8] for 2012.

Table 3:  Performance Indicators for Africa
Share of Global

Patent Applications
Trade Marks
Industrial Designs
Plant Variety
Scientific Publications

For science publications in Africa, about two thirds were accounted for by South Africa (almost a half) followed by Nigeria and Kenya [6].

Every patent and some of the other measures in Table 3 can become a product or service in the market. The low values of the measures in Table 3 show that Africa is still very far from transforming innovations into pillars of socio-economic development. This also means that very few of the products and services to reach the market in the next few years will be African. This is a very clear manifestation of the very low investment in R&D by African countries.

On a broader basis, the Global Innovation Index (GII) published by NEPAD and WIPO [6,7] which looks at a broader number of innovation measures also shows that Africa, compared to the rest of the world, is last in the following innovation measures [2,3]:
·         institutions
·         Human capital and research
·         infrastructure
·         Market sophistication
·         Creative inputs
·         Knowledge and technical outputs.

Improvement of Africa’s performance in S&T is not an easy, cheap or short-term engagement.  Without political will, as the Lagos Plan of Action started 37 years ago, success cannot be guaranteed.

The major factors impacting S&T development in Africa are [5, 6, 7]:
(i)            low political will
(ii)           large dependence on foreign donor funding of R&D raising the risk of the research agenda being set by non-Africans
(iii)         low local funding of S&T by government
(iv)         low participation by business in R&D
(v)          harmonized remuneration packages serving as a disincentive to join S&T professions
(vi)         low numbers of people engaged in S&T activities
(vii)       low participation of women in S&T and R&D
(viii)      low investment in staff development in general, and women staff in particular, in R&D programs
(ix)         non-inclusion of STI in national development plans and programs.

Any meaningful discourse on the use of STI and R&D for development in Africa must be contextualized within the constraints mentioned above.

In Africa, the only institutions carrying out rigorous research in a broad diversity of academic disciplines are public universities.  The research output at national level is augmented by research outputs from specialized, government research institutes, mainly in agriculture.  Whereas the research outputs of government research institutes are focused at addressing development challenges in a specific socio-economic area (e.g. agriculture), the research outputs of universities are largely fragmented and not coherently focused on a specific development challenge.  One major reason for this is that research is a relatively new endeavor for universities in Africa.  At their inception, universities in Africa were not meant to focus on postgraduate studies and research.

At the time of independence in the 1960s, most African countries either inherited university colleges or set up their own new university colleges usually affiliated to a university in Europe.  For anglophone Africa, this meant affiliation to the University of London.

The university colleges inherited at independence, or the ones set up immediately after independence, were small, elitist institutions with little or no organic links to the community around them.  They were set up to provide undergraduate training to students with the aim of producing graduates who would fill the manpower requirements of the civil service.  Postgraduate studies and research was not a point of focus for these early university colleges [10].

The legacy of being small at their inception has lasted to today.  Table 4, for example, shows the participation rate in tertiary education of students in some East African Community (EAC) countries in terms of the Gross Environment Ratio(GER) [11].

Table 4:  Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER)
GER (%)

The legacy of not being focused on postgraduate studies and research lasts to today as the number of researchers in Africa is still small.  For some countries in the East African Community the number of researchers per million inhabitants is shown in Table 5 [12].

Table 5:  Researchers per Million Inhabitants (RMI)

These numbers of researchers are small by global standards and their growth rate is also small. Compared to developed countries, for example, they had in 2014 an RMI of over 2001 [12]. Africa, therefore, has a long way to go to get to where developed countries were in 2014.

This small number of researchers is also faced with a problem of brain drain to developed countries with UNESCO estimating that one third of African scientists were working abroad in 2009 [13].

The low numbers of researchers is compounded by low levels of funding for R&D which results in most of the research budget going to pay personnel emoluments of researchers and academics, operating costs and some student stipends leaving very little for research per se.

A bright light, if properly implemented, of university science and technology in Africa is the establishment of two research-intensive universities, one in Abuja, Nigeria and one in Arusha, Tanzania which are part of the Nelson Mandela African Institutes of Science and Technology.

The history of research in African countries and African universities has left a research legacy characterized by:
·               a relatively small number of staff engaged in research and publications with this activity being geared at raising the international profile of academic staff as individuals
·               most of the research by volume and diversity is carried out in public universities
·               most of the university research is academic rather than problem-solving-oriented
·               most of the university research is academic discipline-based research and is, therefore, hosted in academic departments
·               most university research is based on individual faculty interest or is set up in response to funding opportunities.

The academic discipline-based department is the basic and primary unit for carrying out a university’s mission.  An organization structure of a university based on the academic department is not conducive to collaboration in any form of a disciplinarily [14].

Most of the development problems facing Africa are complex and novel, requiring innovative approaches and solutions to overcome them.  These problems are usually not addressable from a single academic discipline.  Collaboration of researchers or academics using one of the several types of disciplinarities [14] is necessary for success to be gained in solving such problems.  The simplest of the disciplinarities to implement is the multidisciplinary approach [14].  Even so, there are very few multidisciplinary groups or units in African universities.  Groups embracing the other types of disciplinarities are completely non-existent.

Typically, multidisciplinary (or other types of disciplinarity) collaboration in a university is organized as a center.  Typically centers are formed to address a specific issue or problem and the center ceases to exist once the objectives for setting it up have been met.  Centers are key to carrying out cutting-edge innovative research.

For African universities to play a leading role in the application of science, technology and innovation to the development of their home countries and that of Africa will require at least two things:
·         the universities need to be re-engineered away from their earlier focus on undergraduate studies. More will be said on this later
·         operational policies and procedures and incentives will need to be set up by interested universities to incentivate academic staff to set up centers to address development problems.

An argument has been presented previously that universities in Africa, including Tanzania, were set up in the 1960s with a mission of producing skilled manpower for public service.  Although, later, universities did diversify their operations by embarking on postgraduate training and research, their efforts in this area were relatively small compared to their primary focus of offering undergraduate programs.

For universities to play a more effective role in the application of STI to development, they need to be radically re-oriented.  They need to be re-engineered.  The word “re-engineer” is used in two senses:
·                     as the application of the engineering method [15] to achieve the three E’s in a university - efficiency, effectiveness and economy.
·                     The use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to radically re-design administrative and academic processes in a university to achieve dramatic improvements in performance. This was the classical definition of re-engineering by Michel Hammer and James Champy – people who coined the term [16].

The re-engineering should aim at enhancing or empowering universities to offer a diversity of relevant postgraduate studies and research.

If this re-engineering process were carried out, it would not be the first time in Tanzania that universities have been re-engineered.

The first university in Tanzania to go through a major transformation program was the University of Dar es Salaam to be followed a short time later by the Sokoine University of Agriculture.  This lecture will be restricted to giving a synopsis of the transformation program at the University of Dar es Salaam.  The aim is to show that a properly implemented re-engineering program can yield significant positive results.

At the University of Dar es Salaam, the first unit to undergo a transformation was the Faculty of Engineering starting in 1989. The appointment of a member of academic staff of the Faculty of Engineering as Vice Chancellor in 1991 enabled the transformation efforts at the Faculty of Engineering to be spread to the whole university.

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) was facing major challenges and constraints arising out of the harsh economic conditions which Tanzania was facing in the 1980s and 1990s.  Thus, for example, in dollar terms, the budgetary allocation to UDSM from the government fell from US$18.6 million in 1985/86 to US$10.9 million in 1992/93.  Another indicative parameter is that budget granted to the UDSM by the government as a percentage of the budget requested fell from 78% to 35% between the years 1985/86 and 1992/93 [17].

These financial problems facing the UDSM resulted in:
·               lack of maintenance and repair resulting in crumbling infrastructure and laboratory facilities
·               lack of adequate remuneration leading to loss of motivation for academic staff to concentrate on their prime terms of reference for employment: teaching, research and the provision of consultancy and services.  This also led to enhanced brain drain of academic staff
·               inability to provide student services of acceptable standard leading to frequent closure of the university due to student disturbances
·               inability to expand student enrolment to match with demand
·               inability to adopt modern technology in university operations
·               inability to make use of the opportunities obtaining from the changing socio-economic landscape (from ujamaa socialism to a market economy with increased private sector participation in the economy) and political system (from one party democracy to a multi-party democratic system).

From 1979 to 1991 about 34 management effectiveness analyses, studies and reports had been commissioned as a way of addressing the problems facing the university.  However, records show that there was hardly any implementation of the recommendations of the studies conducted [17].

Partly as a measure of addressing the non-implementation of the various studies conducted previously, in 1991, a decision was made to embark on a re-engineering of the university.  The re-engineering was implemented using strategic planning which allowed the re-engineering principles to be fully developed and implemented [18].  The strategic planning process was aimed at achieving the 3 E’s – efficiency, effectiveness and economy – in the administrative and academic processes of the university.

It was recognized at the very beginning of the strategic planning process that re-engineering of academic processes requires long-term thinking and planning.  Therefore, the first Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) of the UDSM, which was approved by the University Council in December 1994 had a time horizon of 15 years [17].  The CSP was implemented through 5-year strategic plans.

The vision for the first CSP represented a clear, concise, description of what UDSM was intended to become within a time frame of fifteen years.  The vision was interpreted in terms of the improvements to be attained in fifteen years in administrative processes, academic processes, human capital, financial resources, infrastructure, student services and governance.

A university is a complex system.  Just like any other system, it is dynamic.  In order to capture the dynamics of growth and change, a model of a five-year-rolling-strategic-plan was adopted.  The first five year plan was rolled forward by one year at the beginning of each academic year.  At each point in time, there was thus a strategic plan of a 5 years window moving along the 15 year planning horizon of the CSP [18].  The five year plans were a hybrid of a strategic plan and a tactical plan.

The model of strategic planning and its implementation adopted by the UDSM is similar to the model adopted by Tanzania in the year 2000.  In the year 2000, Tanzania adopted the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 (TDV 2025) giving a vision of what Tanzania was to become twenty five years later [34].  TDV 2025 was implemented through a series of three-year and five-year development plans [35].

The achievement of the vision of the strategic plan involved the implementation of a variety of projects with multiple funding sources supporting their projects of choice.  The Logical Framework Approach (LFA) was adopted and found to be a very useful tool in project design and evaluation and in the coordination of the various supporters of the strategic planning process.  LFA was applied to the annual plan before the five year plan was rolled over.  This exercise was chaired by the Vice Chancellor and involved all local and foreign stakeholders of the strategic planning process.

Although the transformation of the UDSM was guided by best practice from the engineering method, it was later discovered that what had been done was similar to Total Quality Management (TQM) [19] in that it involved five points:  customer focus (both internal and external customers of the UDSM), systematic improvement of administrative and academic processes, development of human resources (especially academic staff, emphasizing female academic staff), long-term thinking and a firm commitment to quality.

Successful implementation of the strategic plan was assured to a large extent by the fact that the targets of the plan were SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound).    Annex I shows a few of the achievements of the UDSM Main Campus which touch on both definitions of re-engineering given previously. The period covered is the first 10 years of implementation of the CSP [20].  More details on the achievements made by the UDSM during my tenure as Vice Chancellor are available in [18]. But all this is history. Let us not dwell too much on it but, rather, let us focus on how we can make MUST create history.

When the UDSM initiated its re-engineering exercise it had to budget for the exercise.  Sida/SAREC was the first institution to come onboard to support the effort.  Later the Government of Tanzania and other foreign donors came on board to support specific projects and programs [18].  Mobilization of financial resources for the strategic planning process is indispensable for its success.

The most important lessons coming out of the re-engineering exercise at the UDSM can be summarized as (not in order of importance):

(i)            Ownership
It is important that the whole university community must feel that they own the re-engineering program.  At the UDSM this was achieved by using participatory organs at every level within the university to implement collegial decision making and by making it abundantly clear that anybody who participated in the re-engineering exercise received real, tangible benefit from their participation. The university-level strategic planning process was also replicated at College and Faculty/Institute levels by each of these units developing, in a collegial manner, their own strategic plans derived from the university CSP.

(ii)        Commitment of the CEO
The total commitment of the Vice Chancellor to the re-engineering effort is central to its success.  By leading by example, other members in the top management of the university are left with no choice but to follow sait.  This commitment ultimately trickles down to the rest of the university community.

The Vice Chancellor must ensure that the university has a realistic vision.  A vision is what the university is expected to become in a given timeframe. Most universities in Tanzania currently have four or five year strategic plans.  Yet the Vision Statements contained in these plans are not realistic in that they  can never be realized in four or five years!

(iii)      Secretariat
The Secretariat of re-engineering must always produce expected outputs on time and with acceptable quality.  To ensure total commitment of the staff of the secretariat, an appropriate remuneration package must be provided to the staff.

(iv)       Organization Culture
The system of shared assumptions, values and beliefs which members of a university hold constitutes its culture.  The legacy culture of a university is built on academic freedom and autonomy.  Changing this culture to one which embraces participatory strategic planning is not easy.  But it must be done if re-engineering is to succeed.

(v)         Carrot or Stick?
The use of the carrot rather than the stick produced more positive results in re-engineering at UDSM.  An effort was made to make it transparently clear that benefits and rewards accrued to all those iwho actively participated in the re-engineering program.

(vi)        Use of Logical Framework Approach (LFA)
The LFA is a strategic objective-driven planning process. It was found to be especially useful in the coordination of local and foreign support to the strategic planning process. Each supporter could see at a glance, in a very transparent manner, which projects supporting which strategic planning objective had received funding from which sources and what the outputs were.

(vii)     Governance and Mobilization of Resources
The mode of governance within a university and within the higher education sector as a whole must be conducive to individual institutional transformation and resource mobilization efforts.  The more autonomous the governance systems are, the more successful the strategic planning process in a resource-constrained environment.

(viii)   Review of the CSP
The 15 year time horizon for the CSP was found to be an over-estimate of the time required to achieve the initial goals of the CSP.  After 9 years of implementation of the CSP [17] it was evident that the major goal of the CSP of addressing major deficits in administrative and academic processes had been met.  The university had to be re-focused on a new vision and mission.  A new UDSM CSP 2004-2013 plan was approved by the University Council in July, 2004.

It was agreed after many ad hoc consultations that the CSP 2004-2013 should focus on making the UDSM pro-active in national development and especially in the application of S&T in development.  This was to be achieved by putting more emphasis on the pursuit of postgraduate studies and research.  Although a research agenda for the university had been collectively agreed upon, it was not coherently focused on the development problems of Tanzania.  The niche areas to be occupied by the UDSM as an institution aspiring to be a recognized world-class-excellence leader in postgraduate studies and research were left largely undefined.

The intention of this chapter is to build on the advice and challenges posed by the Chancellor to MUST in the first lecture of this Lecture Series. In my view, MUST can do justice to the Chancellor’s advice and challenges if it re-engineers itself in the sense given at the beginning of Chapter 2.

The Chancellor used singular examples to give his advice or pose his challenges to MUST.  These examples are parts of wider concepts.  By responding to specific examples, MUST will be implying that it will respond to the concepts behind the examples only if the Chancellor were to bring to its attention all examples which lie behind the concepts.  If the Chancellor were to try to do this, he would need to be involved in Management By Wondering Around (also krown as Management By Walking Around) (MBWA) [21].  The Chancellor has to be spared from this as this is not the role of a Chancellor as specified in The Universities Act (CAP 346) or the Mbeya University of Science and Technology Charter 2013.  I will set the pace of how MUST can respond strategically to the Chancellor’s advice by giving my contextualization of the Chancellor’s advice and challenges within wider well understood concepts within the university sector.

I have ichosen four conceptual areas in the Chancellor’s Lecture as an example of areas where the advice and recommendations given can only be implemented if MUST is re-engineered:
§   MUST to Spearhead the Formation of a Regional
Innovation System
§   Enhance the Relevance of MUST to Tanzania
§   Enhance and Establish New Science Programs
§   The Role of MUST in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

In interpreting the advice, challenges and recommendations within broad concept areas, it makes it possible for MUST to access the vast literature available on the implementation of each concept.  In implementing the advice or recommendations MUST can build on what others have already done rather than start by re-inventing the wheel.

(i)          MUST to Spearhead the Formation of a Regional Innovation System (RIS)
A national innovation system (NIS) is defined as [22].
A system of interacting private and public firms (either large or small), universities and government organs aiming at the production of science and technology within national borders.  Interaction among these units may be technical, commercial, legal, social or financial, provided that the goal of the interaction is the development, production, financing or regulation of new science and technology.

The Chancellor’s advice to MUST must be taken in this broader context except that rather than referring to a national innovation system he was referring to the formation of a regional innovation system for the Southern Highlands Region.  The regional innovation system would involve different types of innovative clusters [23].  The Chancellor’s advise in this area, re-grouped into a broad concept, is summarized in Annex II.

The formation of innovative clusters is the proven method of using science and technology for development [26].  But the participation of universities in innovative clusters is highly dependent on the ability of a university to produce R&D outputs which are relevant to industry [26]. (Refer also to Section 1.2.2).

MUST is a very young university and most of its academic staff are earmarked for postgraduate studies.  Its research output is, therefore, necessarily small.

In the short term, MUST must build on its legacy as a former technical college and institute of science and technology by focusing on teaching for professional practice and applied (as opposed to academic) R&D and publications.  But MUST must strategize now on the formation of innovative clusters and research centres in the long term by:

·            Shaping its academic staff development program so that it empowers its academic staff to be full participants in innovative clusters and research centers once they are fully trained.
·            Carrying out a survey within the Southern Highlands Region to identify the potential and types of innovative clusters which MUST could spearhead in their formation.
·            Learn from the experience of the College of Engineering and Technology of UDSM in the formation of innovation systems and innovative clusters [27, 28].

(ii)        Enhance the Relevance of MUST to Tanzania
The relevance of a university depends on the extent to which the outputs of a university (teaching, research, consultancy and public service) have a positive impact on the socio-economic development of a country or region to which the university belongs.  For public universities, accountability to the tax payers who fund the university makes the issue of relevance of a university extremely important.  On relevance, the Chancellor’s advice, re-grouped into a broad concept, is summarized in Annex III.

Obviously in looking at relevance, MUST must adopt a holistic approach rather than confining itself solely to the advice by the Chancellor

(iii)      Enhance and Establish New Science Programs
MUST is a university of science and technology.  Its academic offerings must, therefore, carry a proper balance between academic programs in science and those in engineering and technology.  The Chancellor’s advice in this area, re-grouped into a broad concept, is given in Annex IV.

The identification of what academic programs MUST should be offering in the long-term is not a trivial task. Should the courses be pure science courses or should they be applied science courses? Perharps if MUST is to be responsive to the Chancellor’s advice in the areas of being relevant to Tanzania, in the establishment of a regional innovation system and in preparing Tanzania for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, MUST could start by offering courses and doing research in areas which are a synthesis of engineering and biology. Such programs would have relevance in agriculture, industry and medicine. Ideas on how this can be achieved by using Foresight will be given when discussing a proposal on the implementation of re-engineering within MUST.

What Type of Pedagogy at MUST?
The Institute of Science and Technology (IST) runs technician courses while the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) runs degree programs. One hopes that MUST has not run into the trap of considering programs in IST as being competence-based while those in CET as being knowledge-based. Competence is the skills, attitudes and knowledge that allow an individual to perform a task (job) to a required standard. These attributes, together, apply to technicians as well as engineers who are successful in their careers. The education and training of both cadres should, therefore, be competence-based if competence has the meaning given above. This can be achieved by implementing an outcome-based pedagogy, with the learning outcomes (outcomes, for short) being defined using Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives or a similar taxonomy.

Bloom categorises educational objectives into three domains [43]:
§   the cognitive domain (mental/intellectual skills)
§   the affective domain (attitudes)
§   the psychomotor domain (physical/manual skills)

Pedagogy in IST and CET should involve all three domains with the psychomotor domain being given emphasis in IST and the cognitive domain being given emphasis in CET. This approach is applicable even if one is using modern engineering pedagogy such as Problem-Based Learning.

Outcome-based engineering pedagogy based on Bloom’s taxonomy is new to most engineering educational institutions in Tanzania and even in the developed world. In the U.S., for example, a major professional effort at implementing outcome-based pedagogy in engineering colleges and universities was carried out in the year 2000 [44]. By having IST and CET implement outcome-based pedagogy, MUST can lead the way in Tanzania in the use of outcome-based pedagogy in the education and training of technicians and engineers. But successful implementation of the pedagogy will require that academic staff in MUST be appropriately trained since the definition of well-formed learning outcomes is a challenge in instructional design. Considerable research has been done and a lot of literature and tools exist on the implementation of outcome-based engineering pedagogy in the cognitive domain [43, 44 and references therein]. The same is not true for the affective and psychomotor domains. The development of methodologies and tools for the implementation of outcome-based pedagogy in these two domains remains an area ripe for considerable research.

The drawing up of learning outcomes for a course makes it possible to set up a Table of Specification for the setting up of examinations for the course thus guaranteeing the validity of the examinations. Most academic staff in universities in Tanzania lack this skill.

(iv)         The Role of MUST in the Fourth Industrial Revelation
Klaus Schwab who coined the phrase Fourth Industrial Revolution [29] saw this revolution as being an outcome of the breakthroughs, fusion and interaction among emerging technologies in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), autonomous vehicles, 3D printing (additive manufacturing), nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, renewables and energy storage and quantum computing (to name just a few).

Another area of relevance to the Fourth Industrial Revolution is the use of ICTs, IoT and AI in urban planning and design which converts a traditional city into a smart city.  A smart city integrates ICTs, IoT and AI in a secure manner to optimize the management of a city’s services (power, water, sewage, health, education, transportation, etc.).  The massive expansion of Dodoma in response to the directive by the Fifth Phase President of the United Republic of Tanzania, His Excellency Dr John Pombe Joseph Magufuli that the government moves to Dodoma, is an invaluable opportunity for urban planners and other interested stakeholders to ensure that Dodoma harnesses technology to evolve into a smart city. In neighbouring Kenya, Konza Technopolis is being built up as a smart city.

Although there is profound uncertainty about the development and adoption of emerging technologies, a proposal will be made for MUST to use Foresight [30, 31] methodologies to enable decision making under uncertainty in defining its role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Advice to MUST by the Chancellor which touches on its role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, re-grouped into a broad concept,  is summarized in Annex V.

(v)         Other Generalizations
There are other generalizations which can be made from the rest of the Chancellor’s Lecture.  Examples are medical and biomedical engineering, locomotive engineering and railway electrification and gender. I leave it to MUST to carry out these generalizations.

The heading of this sub-section is posed as a question for one major reason.  The decision whether to re-engineer MUST or not is that of the university itself to make.  It cannot be that of outsiders like myself.  But as stated previously, if MUST is to be responsive to the Chancellor’s advice, which he gave while delivering the first lecture in this Lecture Series, then the university has no choice, in my view, but to re-engineer.

The main focus of this sub-section is identification of some of the questions and issues which MUST has to address if it chooses to re-engineer.  The re-engineering exercise itself will, obviously, have to answer many more questions and address more issues than the ones I am posing.

We have argued previously in sub-section 2.1 that strategic planning allows re-engineering principles to be fully developed and implemented. But, what type of strategic planning should MUST adopt?

Universities in Tanzania, and perhaps more generally, globally, have typically copied, sometimes with some adaptation, traditional models of strategic planning in business. In the traditional models of strategic planning the future was assumed to emerge from the present in an essentially predictable and manageable way.  It was assumed, in other words, that a business or a university could manage its way to its vision.

We know that the long-term future of businesses or universities is not only unpredictable but it is also complex and uncertain.  The assumptions underlying traditional business or university strategic planning cannot, therefore, be justified.  This is especially true in the area of university processes of problem-solving-oriented research, innovation and community service.

The following question then arises:  Is there a strategic planning methodology for universities which can be used in an environment where the long-term future of universities is complex and uncertain?

A strategic plan for a university is a document whose implementation is meant to ensure that the university attains its vision.  Effective planning, therefore, is contingent on there being a proper definition and understanding of a university vision.  For as the famous Lewis Carroll quote goes:

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Or, as an anonymous source rephrased the saying to:

If you don’t know where you are going, You can’t get lost

We have stated previously that the future of a university is complex and uncertain.  Strategic planning and the setting of a vision in such an environment requires a scanning of the future to identify plausible futures and design strategies which would stand a good chance of producing a preferable future.  Such an approach is central to Foresight Methodology [30, 31].

The uncertainty involved in defining a long-term vision for MUST and strategies for attaining that vision make us propose the use of Foresight in the strategic planning process.  Foresight is [31].

The umbrella term for methodologies and approaches that take volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity as their starting point, explore possible and probable futures, including a preferred one, and generate insights and ‘cross-sights’ that enable transformative actions in the here and now.
Construing the vision of MUST as a prediction of its future is problematic.  It is impossible to predict the future of MUST 15 or more years from now.

The perils of long-term prediction in science and technology can be exemplified by a study set up in 1937 by the U.S.  National Academy of Science to predict future scientific breakthroughs.  As narrated by Sir Michael Rees, the Astronomer Royal in 1995, the report of the study came up with wise statements on synthetic rubber, synthetic gasoline and agriculture.  But, Sir Michael Rees goes on to say “…what is more important is the things it missed.  No nuclear energy, no antibiotics, no jet engines, no rocketry, not any use of space, no computers, certainly no semiconductors including integrated circuits.  The committee overlooked the technologies that dominated the post second world war era.” [33].

Foresight is a methodology which, unlike prediction, identifies a range of possible and probable futures and uses them to shape a strategy which would yield the preferred future [31].

A Foresight exercise is carried out through consultations in a Foresight Group whose members are carefully chosen based on their capability for independent thinking.  The Foresight Group consultations are moderated by a person with specialist skills in moderation of Foresight Groups [31].

As stated previously, the main driver for using Foresight in a university is the problem-solving-oriented research, innovation and community engagement.  Foresight is used to identify areas of future research strength [30].  Thus, for example, if we assume that some of  the advice given by the Chancellor in the first lecture in this Lecture Series had come from a distillation of future research opportunities discerned by a hypothetical Foresight Group, we could identify the four future research opportunities shown in Figure 1. The figure is a conceptual representation of the interaction between individuals who are specialists in different academic disciplines and who are usually based in research centres. The type of interaction which the researchers are involved in determines the type of discipliniarity underpinning the interaction [14].

A : Agricultural Technologies
B : Communication Technologies + ICTs
C : Health Systems Technologies
D : Natural Resources Technologies

Figure 1: Areas of Future Research Opportunities

The four circles represent themes of possible future areas of research collaboration with other institutions such as TAZARA, ARI-Uyole, Hospitals, etc. as identified in the Chancellor’s Lecture.  It is in the overlapping areas where the four research themes intersect where one might expect to see the most innovative future interdisciplinary research opportunities for MUST. This can be exemplified in extenso, for example, by imagining the application of the Foresight Methodology to agriculture.

A Hypothetical Example of Foresight in Agriculture
The Chancellor reminded us in his lecture that agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of Tanzania.  MUST can exploit, perhaps in the long term, the many opportunities obtaining in the agricultural sector.  Let us hypothesize the setting up of a Foresight Group in agriculture.

The methods of Foresight usually involve a wide stakeholder participation.  For Foresight in agriculture let us assume that the stakeholders have been chosen to cover the whole value chain of the agricultural system from production, processing, distribution (both local and international), retail and the utilization of “waste” products.  The overall objective being using agricultural value chain analysis to maximize benefits at minimal cost or to optimize profits.  The analysis might not be wholly relevant to MUST in the short term but it could provide a methodology which MUST could use in other areas.

A hypothetical example of a Foresight exercise in agriculture involving stakeholders from the following non-traditional interest group is considered:
   basic science
   business management
   climate change
   international trade
   Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
   Indigenous Knowledge [IK]

This consideration might yield proposals for the following inter-disciplinary academic and research programmes:
(i)      Intersection of Agriculture and Basic Science
     Production of organic and inorganic pesticides, vaccines, animal drugs, insect or biological control vectors
     Physiology of crops and sensitivity to environmental factors
(ii)     Intersection of Agriculture and business managemen
An area of interest here is the intersection of agriculture and Operations Research i.e. the application of mathematical models (e.g. optimization) in studying or planning agricultural systems.  Areas of application include:
     farm management systems
     crop rotation and economics
     decision models in risk management
     yield versus agricultural input models
     stochastic modelling of agricultural systems
     Given soil characteristics, rainfall patterns, etc. which crops must be grown where in order to minimize risks of producing insufficient food in both economic value and nutritional value?
     What mix of organic and inorganic fertilizers or pesticides must be used to minimize environmental impacts?
     What mix of energy inputs (both direct energy and embodied energy) can one use to minimize the cost of impact on the environment for a given volume of products, etc?
     What mix of farmland and forestry must one have to maximize profits?

Operations Research enables one to consider many variables of the agricultural system at the same time.

(iii)   Intersection of Agriculture and the Environment
     Creation of new value chains utilizing agricultural waste to replace petroleum – based materials or products
     Documentation of environmental and economic impacts of food systems which should be given to impacts on air, biodiversity, landscape, water and soil and land.
     Minimizing the use of agricultural inputs (e.g. energy, inorganic fertilizers and pesticides)
     Organic farming, etc.

(iv)   Intersection of Agriculture and Energy
     Production of non-food and energy crops
     Renewable energy use in agriculture
     Use of agriculture waste for energy, etc.

(v)       Intersection of Agriculture and Climate Change
     Impact of climate change on agricultural productivity
     Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
     Methods of vulnerability assessment of agricultural systems to climate change
     Mitigation measures for agricultural systems against climate change
     Maximizing benefits to Tanzania from international climate change protocols, conventions and treaties etc.
     Drought and flood management strategies, etc.

(vi)      Intersection of Agriculture and International Trade
     Intellectual Property Rights (IPOs)
     Creation of new value chains for niche international markets (horticulture, fisheries, branding).
     International trade law and regulations
     International trade, marketing and quality standards.
     Organic product exports, etc.

(vii)     Intersection of Agriculture and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).
The intersection of agriculture and ICTs has spawned a new area of teaching and research - computational agriculture [45].  The following are some of the areas covered by computational agriculture.

     Application of ICTs to research and extension activities in:-
-    farm management
-    marketing
-    landscape activities (e.g. using Geographic Information Systems (GIS))
     Advice to farmers (usually about agricultural inputs) based on computer models
     Pedagogies for open and distance education and for e-learning for agriculture
     Pedagogies for virtual laboratories and virtual theatres.
     Bioinformatics and computational biology i.e. the use of techniques form applied mathematics, informatics, statistics, computer science, chemistry and biochemistry to solve biological problems usually at the molecular level [46].

(viii)   Intersection of agriculture and Indigenous Knowledge (IK).
It has increasingly been realized that modern life has a lot to learn from indigenous knowledge.  In Tanzania, IK (or ethno science) has been used for many years for local decision making in agriculture.  It is embedded in community practices, institutions, relationships and even rituals.

Indigenous knowledge has been found to be essential and useful in the following areas [47]
   preservation of biodiversity
   land use practices
   indigenous food production and consumption
   agricultural inputs such as natural fertilizers, natural herbicides and ethno-pesticides.

The eight interdisciplinary areas we have identified above are not meant to be exhaustive.  The diversity of a Foresight group would necessarily open up other interdisciplinary area such as health aspects, etc.

We also need to make the following observations:
(i)            We have been looking at the simplest cases of interdisciplinarity i.e. the intersection of agriculture with one discipline or sector at a time.  The real world is more complex calling for us to look at the intersection of agriculture with several sectors at a time. This would yield more highly specialized academic and/or research programs.

(ii)           ICTs, IK and Operations Research are cross-cutting.  These can be used to create intersections of two or more sectors with these cross-cutting sectors e.g. agriculture, the environment and ICTs, etc.  It is not entirely clean whether moving to intersections of three or more sectors would be productive at this time.

(iii)         The final identification of academic and research programmes to be implemented is best conceived as a project.  This would enable the venture to benefit from structured planning processes such as the Logical Framework Analysis. This might be a useful input to MUST as it responds to the Chancellor by increasing its programs in science.

Figure 1 also shows areas where there could be research opportunities in multidisciplinary, crossdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. The shaded region, where all four circles intersect, represents the area with the most interdisciplinary-intensive research opportunities.  The basis of Figure 1 is Annex V.

For MUST any Foresight exercise must take into account the boundary conditions and constraints unique to MUST.

Boundary Conditions
(i)      It must be a long-term vision (15 years or more).  This is especially important for a young university like MUST.  A strategic plan should not be an enhanced tactical plan.

The current vision of MUST is “… to become the leading center of excellence for knowledge, skills and applied education in science and technology”. (Emphasis mine).

This vision is incorporated in MUST’s Corporate Strategic Plan 2017/18-2021/22.  Does MUST expect to attain this vision in a time frame of four years? If not, then what strategic plan does this vision belong to and what should be the vision for the current four year strategic plan?

(ii)     It must take into account, and be built on, the legacy of MUST as having evolved from MTC and MIST.  Globally, science and technology universities cover the whole spectrum from universities whose focus is on teaching with minimal research activities to universities whose focus is on postgraduate programs and research.  Long-term, where does MUST place itself in this spectrum?  The Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BTS) in India is a university-level institution with the same legacy as MUST [32].  What can MUST learn from BIST in coming up with its long-term vision?

The legacy of MUST would intuitively lead one to expect MUST to at least be unique among public universities in Tanzania in that it would be aspiring more for relationships and linkages with industry and commerce with a focus on problem-solving research.

If constraints are not adequately mitigated or overcome, it would not be possible for an organization to realize its vision.  The constraints facing MUST in realizing a long-term vision are:
·         Large number (96.7%) of academic staff occupy junior ranks.  A minimum of 940 man-years in postgraduate training is needed to get current staff on post to be fully trained.  This is also an opportunity for MUST to shape its future staff mix in various specializations.
·         Legacy as MTC and MIST
·         Finances
·         The harmonized scheme of service for public universities in Tanzania
·         Uncertainty about the future.

One of the definitions of re-engineering given in Chapter 2 was the use of ICTs to radically transform the operations of an organization.  The use of ICTs in the transformation of a university’s operations has not been looked at in a comprehensively holistic manner by any university in Tanzania.  University ICT policies tend to focus on the administrative operations of a university rather than its core functions of teaching, research, consultancy and the provision of public service.

Even at the global level, the promise of ICTs has been fulfilled to a lower level in higher education compared to other sectors of the economy [38].  At least two reasons may account for this.

Firstly, ICTs were applied in business and industry before universities.  Therefore, in universities, ICTs were first applied by deploying applications from business.  This meant that the first areas in universities where ICTs were deployed were administrative processes.  Secondly, the organization culture of universities, with its emphasis on academic freedom and autonomy, might also have contributed to the slow pace of integration of ICTs in academic processes.

The raison d’etre of computer communications engineering and technology was, and still remains, resource sharing. Computer communications technologies, which are a part of ICTs, gave rise to digital networks.  Digital networks can be exploited by universities to leverage collaboration and distribution at intra-institutional and inter-institutional level for more effective and efficient meeting of their needs, the needs of their staff and students, while contributing to the greater good of al individuals andl institutions.

Tanzania is classified as a poor country by the United Nations since, if all nations of the world were ranked by their per capita income, Tanzania would lie in the poorest 10 percent.  As such it cannot fully meet the realistic resources requirements of all public universities.  It is, therefore, in the self-interest of public universities to exploit the use of ICTs to leverage their meagre resources to extend their reach in meeting their missions.  For student enrolment expansion, for example, the integration of ICTs in the planning for additional physical infrastructure needs can liberate a university from the onerous economies related to the costs of expansion and maintenance of physical infrastructure.

The full exploitation of the networking abilities of ICTs has not been fully exploited to create virtual environments for universities.  Thus there must be a paradigm shift from talking about physical lecture rooms and physical libraries, for example, to talking about virtual lecture rooms and virtual libraries.

There are a few examples of current utilization of ICTs in the academic operations of universities in the U.S., Europe and Asia which universities in Tanzania could look at and learn from:

(i)        MOOCs and OpenCourseWare
There are currently available Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) being offered by leading universities and eminent scholars in the developed world.  There are both free and commercial platforms for MOOCs.  There are some very high quality, free MOOCs platforms available.  How can we integrate MOOCs with traditional university course offerings as a strategy of scaling up the quality of university education in Tanzania?  Can universities in Tanzania be coordinated to enable them to offer MOOCs–like courses as a way of mitigating the scarcity of qualified academic staff by ensuring that the few qualified academic staff are utilized by universities on a system–wide basis?

In 2001 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) decided to put all its educational materials from its undergraduate and postgraduate courses on the Internet, freely and openly available to anyone, anytime and anywhere.  Some of the materials are available as a streaming of video lectures [36].  This initiative by MIT has been emulated by most leading universities in the world.  Will any university in Tanzania follow suit?  Putting online educational materials produced by academic staff would force the quality of that material to go up.

(ii)  Learning Management System (LMS)
A Learning Management System is a software application for the administration, storage, reporting, documentation, tracking, assessment and delivery of educational courses.  An LMS is part of an e-Learning system.

Commercial LMS systems tend to be expensive.  But, there do exist good open source LMS such as Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment).  Moodle is available at the University of Dar es Salaam but its use is limited by lack of guidance from an operational policy and procedures.

The increasing use of ICTs in residential universities, such as MUST, forces them to move to blended learning environments.  Management of course planning, delivery and student assessment in such an environment is made more efficient and effective using an LMS with the appropriate level of functionality [37].

(iii)                 Digital Libraries
University libraries need to embrace ICTs in order to more effectively and efficiently play their role of scholarly information collection, preservation and dissemination.  This can be achieved by digitizing the resources and services of a library and networking it using the Internet.

By digitizing its resources and services, a library can:
·                make its repositories accessible by its users at anytime from anywhere
·                effect electronic inter-library loan
·                effect electronic circulation
·                effect electronic acquisition
·                reduce the need for physical infrastructure by transferring some library functions to the Cloud
·                effect an electronic catalogue accessible via the Internet
·                make research training outputs accessible via the Internet by storing electronic copies of theses and dissertations and cataloguing them electronically.

The networking of digital resources of a university library portends a paradigm shift in the place of the library in university academic processes.  The library becomes a virtual library with no walls or hours of opening.  The virtual library can be formed at institutional level but its positive impact would be more profound if it were created at a university system-wide level.  A virtual library liberates a university from linking increased access to its collections to increasing the physical collections and physical space for collections and readers.

Web Presence of MUST
The web presence of a university is normally taken to be a proxy of its performance in its core mission activities. Ranking of universities based on their web presence has been carried out by Webometrics since 2004. In the 2004 rankings, the University of Dar es Salaam emerged as the topmost ranked university south of the Sahara desert and north of the Limpopo river (actually, outside of Egypt and South Africa). From that lofty ranking in 2004, the ranking of universities in Tanzania has deteriorated. Compared to 2004, the Webometrics rankings for the second half of 2017 show that there are 11 universities from the same region which are ranked higher than the University of Dar es Salaam [41]. MUST is not ranked among the top 100 universities in Africa.

In the Webometrics rankings for universities and colleges of the United Republic of Tanzania, MUST is ranked at number 33 [42]. MUST is the last ranked of what the Chancellor has called Institutes of Technology Tanzania (MUST, Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology in Arusha, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology and Arusha Technical College). Is the web presence of MUST a true mirror of the university?

Foresight in ICTs and Blended Pedagogy for Universities in Tanzania
ICTs are changing at a very rapid pace and they are a disruptive technology.  How are ICTs likely to evolve and affect university academic operations in the future?  How should universities in Tanzania be empowered to engineer and benefit from the networking of resources and services at national, regional and global levels?  How should universities in general, and MUST in particular, use virtualization, augmented reality, virtual reality and other emerging technologies to impact pedagogy?  These and similar questions may not have ready or clear answers at present.  They pose a very good opportunity for the carrying out of a Foresight exercise on the future place and role of ICTs in university administrative and academic processes.

No university in Tanzania has so far carried out a study on the comprehensive and holistic integration of ICTs in university pedagogy in blended (hybrid) academic course offerings and in the teaching of practical courses.  The use of ICTs in academic processes is currently limited to the Academic Registration Information System (ARIS) – which is a depository of information on students and their studies - and a scattered application of Learning Management Systems in some universities.  Clearly the full potential of ICTs has not been explored or utilized in academic processes.  This might also be an area which is ripe for a Foresight exercise.

An Operational Policy and Procedures
Institutionalized deployment of ICTs in universities to address both administrative and academic processes stands a better chance of being successful and sustainable if it is guided by a policy and agreed procedures.  The lack of a policy has at times forced universities to embark on un-sustainable donor-driven ICT projects.  A case in point is the iLabs project funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and involving the development of supplementary laboratory exercises in science and electrical engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), Makerere University (Uganda) and the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) which were run remotely at a hardware platform at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Students at undergraduate and postgraduate level were involved in the development of laboratory exercises for implementation in iLab.

If MUST is to be responsive to the advice by the Chancellor, it must adopt a long-term planning strategy.  The strategic objectives of the long-term plan would not necessarily be the same as those of the current Corporate Strategic Plan 2017/18-2021/22. They would be based on considerations such as those given in section 3.2 above. The long-term strategic objectives would be implemented in a phased manner through 4 or 5 year dynamic plans.

The speeches and collective resolutions of African leaders on the importance of science and technology to Africa’s development over the past 37 years have not been matched up with their serious individual or collective efforts aimed at the financing of the application of S&T or R&D to development.  This is the major constraint which public universities, and especially public universities of science and technology, have to face as they define their role in Africa’s development.  This constraint is at the root of all other constraints which universities in Africa face in playing their part in Africa’s development.

The legacy of African universities is that of small, elite teaching institutions.  To make an impact in Africa’s development they had or have to radically increase in size, diversify their offerings both horizontally and vertically and increase their applied R&D output which is relevant to Africa.

MUST is a very young university.  The Chancellor has given advice to MUST which is challenging in its diversity and scope.  Given the constraints which MUST is facing can it be responsive to the Chancellor’s advice?  I believe that MUST can indeed be responsive for two reasons.

First, as someone who oversaw the radical transformation of the University of Dar es Salaam during the period 1994-2005 under what at the beginning of the transformation process seemed to be insurmountable constraints I can state categorically that the first hurdle that MUST has to jump over if it is to succeed is the total commitment by the Vice Chancellor and all top management in supervising the re-engineering of MUST in response to to the implementation of a  realistic strategic plan.

Second, as a university of science and technology, MUST can find a niche area for itself in the application of ICTs in academic processes in universities i.e. to develop methodologies for the re-engineering of universities in the classical sense of re-engineering.  Since this area has not been fully exploited by universities in Tanzania, MUST can move into this area, create an advantage for itself which can go a long way in building its brand within Tanzania and in the region.  Matthew 25:29 in the Holy Bible reads:

For unto every one that hath shall be  given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath

The operation of this principle is known as the Matthew Effect (also sometimes referred to as the Matilda Effect).  By exploiting an initial advantage gained in the application of ICTs to academic processes, MUST can emulate other individuals and organizations in raising the status of its reputation by exploitation of the Matthew Effect [39, 40].

But MUST should always be conscious of the environment it is working in.  This environment might impose constraints on MUST which, if not properly mitigated, might impact negatively on any re-engineering effort by MUST.

It is now almost four decades since the Lagos Plan of Action went into force.  Yet, no leader in Africa has shown the political will and serious commitment to financing the application of S&T and R&D to Africa’s development as foreseen in the Lagos Plan of Action.  If we wait for Africa’s leaders to create a conducive financial environment for the application of S&T and R&D to Africa’s development, we may wait for a still much longer time.  But, engineers are problem solvers.  Therefore, as engineers, what should we do?  Following William B. Yeats’s who advised that:

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking

I would propose two approaches.  At university level, all projects needed for the implementation of a long-term strategic plan should be defined and budgeted for in as much detail as possible.  Every opportunity should then be taken to sell these projects to internal and external funding sources.  At individual level, every leader of a unit, be it a Department, School, Institute, College or University, should re-engineer their unit so that it implements STI for the development of Tanzania and its people and produces graduates who are skilled in, and highly motivated in, implementing STI projects and programs for the development of Tanzania and its people. Ensure that you produce true engineering graduates – people who are problem solvers and always focused on outputs, not inputs.

I would like to end my lecture with a saying of the famous Afro-American actor, Dale E. Turner that:

We are born with our eyes closed and our mouths open, and we spend the whole of our lives trying to reverse that mistake of nature

Indeed, we need to do less talking and to keep our eyes and ears more open. I will now close my mouth, open my eyes and ears and let you take your turn at carrying forward that mistake of nature by opening your mouths in raising comments and asking questions on the lecture.


Student Enrolment
Academic Programs

Research Funding (billion Tshs)
Non-Fess Internally
General Funds (billion Tshs)

Staff Development
Academic staff with PhD
Gender balance
Staff Female to male ratio (%)
Student Female to male ratio
Government Sponsored
Qualified but not admitted



Video conferencing Theatres
Access to Internet
Public access rooms in all Faculties and Halls of Residence
Students per PC
UDSM units with Websites
Percentage of staff networked
Digitalization of the Library (%)
Staff empowered to use ICTs in teaching
ITRU in place
Application software (University level)
§  Timetabling
§  Finance
§  Student Register
§  Human capital
§  library

5, 4
·           MUST to collaborate with Teofilo Kisanji University, Branches of SAUT, OUT, MU and UDSM
6, 4
·           Collaborate with ITTs
6, top of page
·           Partner with ARI-Uyole
·           Science and Technology appropriate to agriculture and natural resources focusing on Southern Highlands.
6, 1
·           Collaborate with Mbeya Zonal Referral Hospital and Mbeya Regional Hospital
·           Establish a College of Medical Engineering
6, 2
·           Collaborate with TAZARA
16, 8
·           Development of drones
19, 1
·           Embrace disciplinarity
·           Innovate motor vehicles into electric and autonomous vehicles

4, 3
Student practicals to address real life problems
5, 1
MUST must interact with its surrounding community
5, 2
Extend MUST’s ICT network to Ikuti
Revisit Mission Statement to enhance relevance of MUST
6, top
Establish courses relevant to Rift Valley, Grace Lakes, Southern Highlands and lacustrine environment
6, 1
MUST to establish College of Medical Engineering and Allied Health Sciences
10, 1 and 11, 2
Address gender imbalance in STEM
16, 7
Environmental Studies to take centre stage at MUST
15,4  and  16,5
Embrace multi-disciplinarity (disciplinariry)
17, 4
MUST to build a brand of relevance to the community.

5, top
Do justice to the “S” part in university’s name
15, 3
In the medium to long term, “science” must take rightful place at MUST

5, 2
MUST to be a centre of excellence in ICT
16, 7
R&D on clean energy
16, 8
RD&D and use of drones
19, 1
Nontechnology at centre of R&D
19, 1
Peer into the future 160 years from now
16, 7
Environmental studies to take centre stage at MUST

Health Technologies
Communication Technologies and ICTs
5, 2; 6, 2; 16, 8
Sustainable Resource Use
16, 7
Agricultural Technologies
6, top

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[39]    R.R. Merton, “The Matthew Effect in Science”, Science, Vol. 159, no. 3810, pp 56-63, 5 January, 1968.

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Copyright© 2017 Mark Mwandosya. All rights reserved


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