I am originally from Eritrea; a country located in the Horn of Africa. I moved to the USA as a teenager, completing my high school and higher education. My field of study for my bachelor degree was in Management Studies. I continued my studies in higher education, earning two Masters Degrees, in Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and Masters of Information Technology (MSc. IT). I earned all my degrees from University of Maryland, in USA.
I eventually returned back to Eritrea and worked for the past eight years contributing in the higher education of the country: lecturing in colleges, running efforts to enhance a local eLearning capacity, and coordinating a project called “ICT for Eritrean Education” in partnership with the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), to boost the infrastructure, coverage and innovation of ICT in the college I worked at.
This work eventually matured in an interest to pursue a PhD study with UEF, researching the trend of innovation in ICT for education in the sub-Saharan Africa context. My research proposal was recently accepted and I have made it in this program.
Info on My Research Topic
The main topic of my research is titled: “Effective Management of ICT Innovation and its Impact to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: Case Studies in Eritrea.” The context of this study is around the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) realities, specifically in the innovative efforts of the education technology. And, the premise is that the ICT can support the provision and quality of education assisting nations in the SSA to fulfill the SDG4 requirements.
This research tries to delineate the links in which ICT can contribute to the local educational needs as outlined on SDG4; I intend to use this as technical requirements that can serve as basis for innovative efforts. It also explores the ways to make efforts of ICT innovation impactful, by identifying innovative tools and processes that enables the maturity of innovative efforts beyond prototyping; up to the final stage of production/implementation.
Through this research in the context of the case study and the corresponding literature reviews I intend to answer the following questions:
- Can contextualized innovation be a best alternative to implement an effective ICT for education in Eritrea?
- What are the main hurdles (i.e. contextualization) that block innovative works from developing into production/implementation stage?
- What are the main motivating factors that can engage young professionals towards ICT innovation?
- What are the direct links between ICT innovation and SDG?
- What tools are deemed important to the process of ICT Innovation?
- What kind of technological tools / platforms / ICT services would support the innovation process in Eritrea / SSA, and how to implement such tools?
I will do a literature review to assess the trend of ICT for education in SSA, and other developing contexts. Through the review I will be able to analyze previous works on innovation management processes and applications of state of the art technologies that can support the effort of ICT innovation.
I will also collect relevant qualitative data as well as observations in the studies of the cases in Eritrea, is a sample a SSA country. This data collection I conduct will be at the Edutech lab in the College I used to work in and the youth organization I am part of, which are spaces for innovation, where I could evaluate experiments that could support my study.
I look forward that my study would contribute in designing methods for effective innovation in ICT that can improve the provision and quality of education; that will in turn boost the capacity of the youth to innovate to meet the local needs. It would be a cycle that can intervene in the gap between education and innovation.