31 December 2022

The Faculty Researcher of the Year award is given to an individual who has made the most significant contribution towards research in her/his faculty during the reporting year.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Ogujiuba acknowledged the Head of the School of Development Studies, Prof Estelle Boshoff for her encouragement, appreciated the UMP Research Office led by Professor Phindile Lukhele-Olorunju for their continuous support to UMP Academics, and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Mayekiso for providing an enabling environment, supportive of Research, Teaching, and Engagement.

For his 2021 publications, Dr Ogujiuba used an: Evidence-Based Analogy Policy Framework, to provide answers that could accelerate Structural Transformation. It was focused on four key areas: Trade, Business, Macroeconomics, and Climate Change/Food Sustainability.


For business related articles, Dr Ogujiuba posited that the SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) sector is an important driver of economic growth. Data on turnover from the AFS survey show that small businesses have made inroads in South Africa’s formal business sector.

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises are the lifeblood of South Africa’s economy, making up more than 98% of businesses across the country and contributing about 39% towards the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). However, data shows that South Africa has the highest failure rate of SMEs compared to elsewhere in the world. SA small businesses fail within five years,” he explained, noting that these statistics prompted further investigations into the dynamics of the sector.

"Pertaining to macroeconomics, we looked at why Africa is marked by a slow recovery from the pandemic, rising food and energy prices, and high levels of public debt, the reason inflation nearly double pre-pandemic levels, risking social and political instability and worsening food insecurity."  

According to Dr Ogujiuba, most countries in the region lack resources to support and stimulate growth, in contrast to richer countries elsewhere that could inject trillions of dollars into their economies. This evidence provided a framework for further analysis, using South Africa and Nigeria as case studies.


For Climate Change/Food Production related articles, Dr Ogujiuba said that his research team posed questions such as:

  1. Are there enough commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions in Africa?
  2. Why do financing commitments to help developing countries adapt to climate change remain negligible?

"These questions have become pertinent because more than one in five persons in Africa suffers from hunger, and the options for an estimated 140 million people projected to face acute food insecurity are limited," he said.

From the research findings, Dr Ogujiuba concluded that, “If policymakers and politicians study the outcomes of the research, it will better inform them to realign policies as per the trend."

Dr Ogujiuba works across faculties and strives to dismantle boundaries to provide solutions for effective leadership and value optimisation.

He added: “It’s not easy since I do a lot of balancing because of my other university responsibilities, but research is my passion. Reading and writing are hobbies for me, so it becomes easier because I am doing what I enjoy. Research informs my teaching.” 

@ Story by Cleopatra Makhaga. Pictures @ChrisplPhoto.