Prof Olumide Longe Calls for Multidisciplinary Approach to Africa’s Problems

Prof Olumide Longe Calls for Multidisciplinary Approach to Africa’s Problems

Associate Professor and Chair of the Information Systems Program, Dr. Olumide Babatope Longe, has called on fellow researchers to develop multidisciplinary thinking mindset to research.

Dr. Longe gave the call on April 3 when he made a presentation at the School of IT & Computing seminar titled: Overcoming Cognitive Distortions as a Means of Promoting Multidisciplinary Research for Sustainable Development in Africa.

“I challenge each individual here seated to resolve to develop multidisciplinary thinking for research initiatives and work through the politics and bureaucracies ahead to develop sustainable solutions for Africa.”

He said there are many professors and individuals with multidisciplinary training and skills situated across departments and units in AUN.

“These scholars must begin to imbibe multiple interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach to addressing developmental training and challenges.”

He spoke of the power of collaboration, calling on fellow researchers to collaborate.

“We need to establish a declaration and commitment to collaborate with patience and tact, develop grand multidisciplinary research team to address Africa’s problems… It is time for Africa to rise together, to reason together and address issues together. The Academia can show the way.”

He maintained that if individual programs, institutions or researchers try to fly alone, they may not still be able to overcome the myriads of developmental challenges faced by Africa today.

In illustrating his point, he used the Igbo proverb: “A bird that flies off the earth and lands on an anthill is still on the ground.”

He defined cognitive distortions as “simple mental models” that influence the ways that our mind convinces us of something that isn’t really true.

“These inaccurate thoughts are often used to reinforce negative thinking or emotions — telling ourselves things that sound rational and accurate, but really only serve to keep us inadequate by playing broken records.”

He said to outgrow cognitive distortions, there is need to understand self-awareness of thoughts, feelings and their relationship to behavior, develop strategies to examine the evidence for and against thoughts that might be distorted, as well as re-framing and finding more balanced thoughts.

The seminar was attended by members from across the university community.

Assistant Professor in the Telecommunications Program, Dr. Abel Ajibesin, said he finds the presentation to be not only inspiring but empowering.

Professor of Systems Dynamics, Dr. Jean-Paul Cléron, said it was a great presentation.

“I admire your energy, I admire your honesty in the analysis of the problem of the black man.”

SITC Dean, Dr. Mathias Fonkam, said the school has always been pushing for interdisciplinary research.

“For a program chair, it is a beautiful beginning. One of the things that I have always been pushing for is the need for us to have research themes. This is very much in line with what American education is all about; its distinction comes from the liberal arts tradition.”

Dr. Longe holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria. His Professorial is in the domain of Information Systems Security/Cyber Security. He is a recipient of several national and international awards and recognition. He is an alumnus Fulbright Scholar, Google Scholar, MacArthur Scholar, and an alumnus MIT Scholar.

Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa