NRF Science for Society Lecture: Championing Research Excellence in Africa

NRF Science for Society Lecture: Championing Research Excellence in Africa

The National Research Foundation (NRF) with its partners, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI); the Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation (OATF); and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada invite you to the latest in the NRF Science for Society Lecture series. This lecture will explore the contributions of research chairs to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).


Professor Fiona Tregenna

Professor Fiona Tregenna holds the DSI-NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development, heading up this centre of research, capacity-building, and public and policy engagement. She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Cambridge and is an Economics Professor at the University of Johannesburg. Her research focuses on issues of structural change, industrialisation and deindustrialisation, innovation and technological upgrading. She has published widely in leading journals; received awards and grants for her research; led large research projects; co-edited several books; and serves on the editorial boards of various international journals and book series.

Prof Tregenna has been involved in economic policy debates for more than 25 years and serves on many panels, boards and councils, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Advisory Council, through which she advises on trade and industrial development across Africa. In addition, as a member of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council, she advises South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on economic policy. She also sits part-time on the Competition Tribunal (South Africa). Prof Tregenna has advised international organisations such as UNIDO, UNCTAD, the United Nations University and the ILO, and has contributed to a number of flagship United Nations reports. She is an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), and sits on several ASSAf bodies.

Professor Nathaniel Boso

Professor Nathaniel Boso is the O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chair and Prof of International Marketing and Strategy at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). He has served as the Dean of KNUST School of Business from 2017 to 2023. Since 2021, he has served as an Extraordinary Professor of International Business at University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (South Africa) and a visiting Prof to Strathmore University Business School (Kenya). Prior to joining KNUST, he was an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. He has won multiple international awards and His research focuses on the interface between international entrepreneurship, industrial marketing and supply chain strategy. Notably, in 2021 his article on “(How) Does Africa Matter for International Business Scholarship?” won the Academic International Business (AIB) Insight Outstanding Article Award.

He was also the winner of the 2019 S. Tamer Cavusgil Award from American Marketing Association Foundation, which recognises the Journal of International Marketing article published in the calendar year that has made the most significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of international marketing management. His research also won the 2017 Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy Best Conference paper; and the Best Empirical Paper Award at the 25th United States Association of Small Business & Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Annual Conference. He has published in high-impact journals including Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of International Marketing, International Journal of Production Economics, Journal of Business Logistics and Journal of Business Research. Nathaniel serves as the Associate Editor of International Marketing Review and Africa Journal of Management. He also serves as the Vice-President of Academy of International Business Africa Chapter.

In 2021, he was appointed to the prestigious O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chair Initiative (ORTARChI) with a budget of 14 Million South African Rand (USD 1.075 Million). He is also the principal investigator at KNUST on the USD 15 Million “Building Research and Innovation for Development: Generating Evidence and Training (BRIDGE-Train)” project funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Prof Nathaniel has been a keynote speaker at several international academic gatherings including the 6th International Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (Zambia), Southern University Global MBA Leadership Forum (USA), and University of Pretoria (South Africa) Africa Leadership Forum. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Ghana in 2002, Master of Science degree in Industrial Marketing from Umeå University (AACSB accredited) in Sweden in 2004 and PhD in International Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Loughborough University (AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accredited) in the United Kingdom in 2011.       

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