Agricultural Cooperatives in the Kingdom of Eswatini: Financial Efficiency, Challenges and Opportunities (Published)
Promoting cooperative financial efficiency through problem-solving and arresting opportunities builds cooperative resilience necessary for ameliorating rural livelihoods. Therefore, this study assessed the income-generating capacity, challenges, and opportunities available to agricultural cooperatives in Eswatini. Secondary data were sourced from government and parastatal reports, while primary data were collected through personal interviews guided by a structured questionnaire. Financial ratios, descriptive statistics, and content analysis were employed for data analysis. The results revealed that broiler, dairy, crop, animal feed and sugarcane cooperatives had strong financial efficiency, 81.75%, 65.36%, 49.61%, 40.33% and 36.37%, respectively. High production cost, free-riders, insufficient capital and lack of training on conflict resolution and administration are the major challenges encountered by cooperatives. Agribusiness opportunities exist in all subsectors. An inclusive regulatory body is recommended to establish production-marketing frameworks to enhance financial efficiency. Pragmatic training programmes are required to address intra-organisational challenges, while inter-organisational linkages are necessary to harness opportunities.
Use of Information and Communication Technology Systems for Delivery of Environmental Literacy Education in Nigeria: Opportunities, Challenges and Prospects (Published)
The purpose of this paper is to examine the opportunities, challenges and prospects of using Information and Communication Technology Systems (ICTS) for delivery of Environmental Literacy Education (ELE) in Nigeria. The paper begins by providing a brief but concise definition of Environmental Literacy (EL) and the attributes of an environmentally literate person. It goes on to establish the need for ELE in Nigeria, using empirical evidence that clearly reveals a high level of Environmental Illiteracy among all segments of the Nigerian citizenry and its adverse consequences of wide spread backwardness and poverty in the country. The paper also defines the concept of ICTS and their role in education with particular reference to Nigeria. After further clarification of the focus and content of Environmental Literacy (EL) as the foundation of ELE, and in view of the pervasiveness of the Environmental Illiteracy syndrome in Nigeria, the paper establishes that ELE needs to adopt Formal, Non-Formal, and Informal forms/modes of delivery in order to involve all concerned segments of the Nigerian population and illustrates, in an annotated manner, what ICTS are needed to deliver ELE in Nigeria. The opportunities, challenges and prospects of using the ICTS to deliver the ELE programmes are succinctly highlighted, conclusions drawn, and appropriate recommendation made, specifying that the Federal Government of Nigeria should harness features of the opportunities and prospects to minimize the challenges and promote use of ICTS for delivery of the highly needed ELE in Nigeria.
Comparative Analysis of Business and Consumer Buying Behaviour and Decisions: Opportunities and Challenges in Nigeria (Published)
Business markets and consumer markets are alike in some key ways. For example, both include people in buying roles whose purchased decision is to satisfy needs. But business markets also differ in many ways from consumer markets. For one thing, the business market is enormous, far larger than the consumer market. Within Nigeria and other sub-Saharan African countries the business market includes more than 13 million organizations that annually, purchased trillions of Naira worth of goods and services. This paper also focused on the traditional tools and techniques employed in the marketing of goods and services to the business sector. Attempt was made to draw attention on the major differences between consumer and business markets – dissimilarities that, while using the same basic marketing tools and techniques, spelled the difference between success and failure in the contemporary business marketing environments.
Active Learning Opportunities Provided By Digital Technologies to Albaha EFL University Students (Published)
This paper aimed to investigate the active learning opportunities provided by digital technologies to EFL Saudi University Students at Albaha University, at first semester (2015-2016). The intentional samples consisted of (43). To achieve the goals the researcher developed a questionnaire consist of (16) items. The reliability and stability has been verified. The paper tries to highlight the extent to which do digital technology gives EFL students opportunities for practicing and enhancing their English language and their future career. The researcher hypothesized that using digital technologies provide Albaha university EFL students with ample and active learning opportunities. To examine this hypothesis, the researcher adopted descriptive and analytic methodology. Data were collected from different resources including student’s questionnaire. The results showed that using digital technologies provide EFL Albaha university student with ample learning opportunities. The collected data were analyzed and the paper concluded with many recommendations.
Up-grading and Enhancing Sustainable Linkages of Rwanda’s Tourism Value Chains: Opportunities and Bottlenecks (Published)
The Rwandan government’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction S4trategy II (EDPRS 2, 2013-2018) highlights enhancement of connectivity and linkages within the country’s economy as one of the priority areas for economic transformation. In the highlights, emphasis is put on the need for deepening the integration of key value chains of the economy. After a comprehensive analysis of Rwanda’s global competitiveness, tourism was identified as one of the key sectors that would spur economic development in the country. Important as it is, however, the linkage of this sector to the rest of the economy was found to be weak and hence compromises on its ability to deliver on certain targets as expected. This paper thus identifies opportunities as well as the bottlenecks within tourism value chains in Rwanda and recommends possible solutions. A questionnaire survey was used to obtain data related to visitor expenditure, targeting visitors at land border points and Kigali International airport. Focus group discussions were also conducted in gathering data on value chains analysis and identification of intervention programs that would remove any bottlenecks in the system.
Review of Bamboo Value Chain in Ethiopia (Published)
Ethiopia has greatest bamboo resources in Africa representing a significant proportion of Africa’s total bamboo resources. The main objective of this review to increase the understanding of problems and constraints facing bamboo production and marketing system, current opportunities and challenges of bamboo marketing, economic, environmental and aesthetic value of bamboo in Ethiopia. Bamboo value chain includes wide range of production to consumption systems and actors. Depending on which market is served, the bamboo products in Ethiopia passes through various intermediary stages until it reaches the final customers. But their value chain linkage is undeveloped. Bamboo agribusiness has worldwide opportunities. Bamboo products currently have very huge demand. It can be utilized at all levels of industrial activity from small craft based industries to modern highly integrated plants. Imbalance between demand and supply is one the core challenges to bamboo agribusiness sector in Ethiopia. Bamboo has huge economic, environmental, aesthetic/cultural values. It is applicable in a variety of engineering fields including landscape, civil and chemical engineering. Bamboo has also culture value in addition to economic and ecological value in Ethiopia. For example Dawuro in Ethiopia; the longest woodwind musical instrument in the world locally called “Dinka” (4 to 5 meters long, four in number) which is made from bamboo and other materials. Therefore; bamboo has worldwide uses ranges from medicine to nutrition (has 1500 uses). It is possible to exploit the existing opportunities of bamboo sub-sector through value chain approach by promoting the formation of farmers’ associations, provision of appropriate technology and training for pre-processing, facilitating capacity development with technology transfer and upgrading skills in bamboo processing and creation of a network and links with other associations, stakeholders and partners are important to solve challenges of bamboo industry in Ethiopia.
ENTRENCHING QUALITY ASSURANCE CULTURE THROUGH GRADUATE TRACER STUDIES IN EAST AFRICA: LESSONS LEARNT, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS FROM MUTRACE (Published)
In many countries especially in Europe, a new demand has emerged in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) that they should provide empirical evidence regarding the professional relevance of their study programs. Africa is following suit. The experiences and knowledge gained in Graduate Tracer Studies (GTS) including Methodology, Interpretation of Findings and Dissemination, Lessons Learnt and Challenges should be shared and utilized for quality assurance not only in Moi University but also in East Africa Universities and elsewhere. This paper highlights the experiences with graduate tracer studies at Moi University including the methodology adopted, results obtained from graduates, opportunities, lessons learnt and challenges. The methodology of the study includes survey preparation and field phase, data analysis, interpretation of findings and dissemination. Moi University Tracer Studies (MUTRACE) experiences presented a lot of opportunities and challenges which are discussed in this paper. If the findings of Graduate tracer study are adapted, they can immensely help to improve the quality of education and services in HEIs. They can also be of value at informing policy and guidelines for HEIs, CUE in Kenya and IUCEA. In conclusion, GTS culture should be embraced in all HEIs in East Africa and the findings of graduate tracer studies used for Quality Assurance purposes among other objectives.