A Nigerian newspaper, and a Harvard Business Review partner in Nigeria, republished one of my Harvard Business Review articles – The Leadership Lessons of Ants. My community manager has received emails from people asking for partnerships on a project I had mentioned in the piece.
Let me address it here: that 2010 project – Networked Digital Library of African Theses and Dissertations – did not work out. We encountered a huge challenge: most universities did not cooperate across Africa.
In short, for many we contacted, largely South African universities were open to work with us. Schools in most other countries were afraid of publishing the dissertations online. Some explained a major concern we could not address – the possibility of a high flying alumnus who might have “innocently” plagiarized his/her thesis being scandalized because of an old document. With that kind of feedback, my U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit, African Institution of Technology, abandoned the project. I had funded the project via income, transferred from royalty on a book, which I wrote as I was concluding my Johns Hopkins University doctoral program.
The website codes, certainly not a mobile-ready site, should be somewhere for any person who may like to continue it. Yet, my suggestion would be to ensure you have buy-ins from schools before you start coding. Imagine the possibility of a current president being accused of plagiarism. Yes, he can close the university, and fire the management for the embarrassment. Africa cannot afford that! Lol.
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