O.R. IN AFRICA

ORSEA 2011 focuses on O.R. and “national visions"

Delegates of the 7th Annual Operations Research Society of Eastern Africa International Conference gather at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

Delegates of the 7th Annual Operations Research Society of Eastern Africa International Conference gather at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.

The Operations Research Society of Eastern Africa held its 2011 International Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, at the renowned Kenyatta International Conference Centre. The conference was jointly sponsored by universities from the societies’ three country chapters of Uganda (Makerere University Business School), Kenya (the University of Nairobi School of Business) and Tanzania (University of Dar es Salaam Business School), and was chaired by Stephen Nyamwange. The conference theme, “The Role of Operations Research in the National Visions within the East African Community and Regional Integration,” resonated with the conference participants and supported the ORSEA mission of promoting the development and application of Operations Research to solving problems and making decisions in Eastern Africa.

More than 200 delegates attended presentations on a wide variety of presentations including “Implications of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Support on Conservation and Resource Mobilization in National Parks: The Case of the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA)”; “An Application of the Hines’s Value Chain Model by the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency”; “Factors that Influence Growth in Small Enterprises: A Study on Petroleum Retail Outlets in Kenya”; “The Relationship Between a Country’s E-Readiness and its Competitiveness: Implications for the East African Community”; and “Performance of National Agricultural Advisory Services Projects in Uganda: Does Stakeholder Commitment Matter?”

The conference featured a keynote presentation by Dr Julius Gatune, policy advisor with the Africa Center for Economic Transformation in Accra, Ghana. The ORSEA 2011 Conference also hosted the 1st INFORMS/IFORS/ORSEA International Teaching Effectiveness Colloquium, which was comprised of plenary talks by Professors Susan Martonosi of Harvey Mudd College, Mike Gorman of the University of Dayton, Keith Willoughby of the University of Saskatchewan and James J. Cochran of Louisiana Tech University. During his stay in Kenya, Cochran attended the state funeral for 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and the founder of the Green Belt Movement Professor Wangari Maathai.

Copies of the first issue of the new Operations Research Society of Eastern Africa Journal (ISSN 1821-7567) were distributed at the conference. The top papers presented at the conference will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal.

The ORSEA Conference Organizing Committee, including Conference Patron Isaack Mbeche, Dean of the University of Nairobi School of Business Stephen Nzuve, Conference Secretary S.O Nyamwange, Conference Organizing Secretary Peterson Magutu, Conference Administrator Truphena Owiti and committee members Tom Mutugu, Angela Kithinji, Mary Kinoti, Florence Muindi and Jay Gichana were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic turnout and the quality of research presented at the conference.

The ORSEA conference has made great strides in its first seven years, and the organization now looks forward to its 8th annual conference, to be hosted by the Uganda Country Chapter.