CODESRIA Doctoral Mentees Inducted at Nairobi Seminar by Maina Waruru
2019 College of Mentors Institute
21 – 31 October 2019
“The Doctoral Mentorship Institute of the CODESRIA College of Mentors hosted the 2019 cohort of mentees to a seminar in Nairobi, Kenya, bringing together 42 doctoral students from universities in Africa from 21 to 31 October 2019.
The seminar drew a mix of fellows all doctoral candidates for an intense 10 days of participatory-based induction course, taking place at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies in Nairobi. Participants also attended the conference of the African Studies Association of Africa held at the United States International University.
According to Ibrahim Oanda Ogachi, the head of CODESRIA’s Training, Grants and Fellowships Programme, the event is meant to augment various efforts by CODESRIA to support doctoral education in the Social Sciences and Humanities in African Universities.
It also aims at providing participants with various “intellectual resources, including reading and commenting on their works”, besides exposing them to academic writing, public presentations, and publishing, Oanda noted.
The purpose is to complement work by their primary supervisors, the overall target being to ensure successful completion of doctoral studies by the fellows and subsequent transition into faculty members in various universities.
“It is important to note that the support provided during the seminar will not override the advice participants receive from their primary supervisors rather, and is expected of academic advising, this is a complementary process whereby participants’ interests and academic development will be emphasized” said Oanda.
Prof Joseph Mensah, York University, (Canada), Abdul Karim Bangura American University, (USA) and Dr Anthony Bizos of University of Pretoria, (South Africa) were facilita- tors of the seminar.
Under the College, the fellows will be mentored for a period of up to three years to ensure they complete their studies on time, said CODESRIA Executive Secretary, Godwin Murunga.
Both the students and their primary supervisors will be linked to the college appointed mentor, avoiding conflict in terms of the roles played by both the mentor and the supervisor.
He observed that in the first cohort enrolled in 2016, a total of 49 doctoral students were linked to the college’s mentors, and about 60% of them have successfully completed their doctoral studies, besides other accomplishments such as publishing and increased attendance in conferences.
Mentees in this year’s class are junior faculty members attached to different universities, with both male and female genders being represented.
Interestingly, in this year cohort, two of the mentees are PhD candidates in Health Sciences, underscoring the critical role of this programme in opening a conversation between social sciences and health and relates sciences.“