Shippensburg Univerity Professor Joseph Zume presented his travels to Ugandaon Nov. 4 in SU’s Grove Hall.
The event was sponsored by SU’s Geography and Earth Science Department, as well as the International Studies Program. Jonathan Skaff also assisted in the presentation, introducing the audience to Zume and giving a brief introduction into Zume’s presentation.
Joseph Zume has been a professor of Geography and Earth Science at Shippensburg University since 2007. Zume traveled to Uganda in summer 2021 and had a photo essay to show the audience the things he did while in Uganda.
Zume visited many tourist destinations in Uganda despite the challenges of Covid-19. However, the main focus of his travels was a fellowship from the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA).
CODESRIA gives fellowships to African-born faculty in the United States and Canada. CODESRIA called on Zume to aid in their goal of revitalizing education in Africa and preventing the phenomenon known as “brain drain,” in which top minds in scientific fields leave Africa to perform their studies elsewhere.
“People like me,” Zume explained.
Zume had a PowerPoint presentation for the audience, as well as a live Zoom screen share. Some of the audience members were people Zume had previously worked with during his time in Uganda. At the time of the event, it was 10:30 p.m. in Uganda, and the audience members had stayed up to watch Zume’s presentation.
During the event, Zume gave the audience an in-depth look at Ugandan culture, politics, agriculture and history.
Some of the topics included the tribes of Uganda, Ugandan political structure and his experience while living in Uganda for two months during his fellowship. He provided a multi-faceted view of life in Uganda as a tourist.
He told the audience about his time staying there and the tourist experience.
“Tourism contributes $1.5-2 billion to the Ugandan economy annually,” Zume said. “Even during lockdown, tourism remained open in Uganda.” Zume also spoke on the Ugandan climate. “There’s diversity in climate as just much as there is diversity in people,” Zume said.
While in Uganda, Zume’s professional focus was on researching groundwater quality and sanitation in informal settlements. Zume was hosted by Makere University, the oldest and most prestigious university in Africa.
Zume was very motivated to educate students and faculty in Africa. Zume put on many virtual seminars for both grad students as well as faculty. He also conducted a writing bootcamp on Tuesdays and Thursdays for five weeks while he was there.
At the beginning of the event, Zume addressed all the students in the audience before speaking about his work in education in Uganda. “Each time you step outside your dorm to go somewhere, there is an opportunity to learn something new,” Zume said. Zume reiterated this point toward the end of the event.