By Alexis J. Alexander
The Southern University College of Business; new electronic business program is steadily gaining national and international recognition.
"The overall idea is to use e-business as a tool in developing countries," said Dr. Victor Mbarika, professor of e-commerce and databases.
In an interview with Afritec LTD, and African Communication and Telecommunication Company, Mbarika stated,
"E-commerce is a broad term that involves the movement of goods and services through some electronic means.
"In recent years, however, these electronic transactions have been predominantly over the Internet and that is why many people attribute e-commerce to the Internet. As we know today, e-commerce also takes place over wireless media, commonly known as m-commerce (Mobile Commerce)."
In addition, ongoing research to develop practical e-business, to improve the economy, and a look at other pertinent e-business issues are concerns for the program both at the University and at universities in other countries.
Mbarika stated that Southern has a research agenda that involves the countries of Egypt, Uganda, Cameroon and Kenya.
There has also been a request from the National University of Rwanda to Southern University to help develop a master's program in technology, which involves e-business.
In a letter to Mbarika, student Mike Barongo of Makerere University, ICS in Kampala, Uganda wrote: "Thank you for having come and delivered your presentation at the e-business workshop here at Makerere University, ICS.
"I believe some of the challenges you did identify such as National infrastructure, cultural issues, and ethical issues may as well be critical for the successful implementation of E-governance."
There are approximately three graduate students at Makerere University, ICS in Uganda who work closely with Southern University.
Since the fall semester of 2004, the 128-hour curriculum with courses such as Management of Business Databases, Development of Business Information Systems, Advanced Business Programming, Supply Chain Management, Electronic Commerce and Business-to-Business E-Commerce have been preparing students for high-tech careers.
"The College of Business is modernizing for access to technology," said Dr. Donald Andrews, dean of the business college in the September 28, 2004 issue of the Southern Digest.
Opposite of Tulane University, a private university in New Orleans, Southern University is the only public university in the state that offers the full e-business program.
Management, analysis, and application development dealing with electronic business are some of the skills students of the e-business program develop.
Working in academics, bank and financial institutions, with the government, healthcare, insurance, retail, and small businesses are some of the careers students can choose from upon graduation.
Southern University as a whole, in conjunction with the College of Business, are in the works of developing a master's program in of e-business as well, through the Nelson Mandela School of Urban Policy. A Master of Business (MBA) program at Southern is also a possibility in the future.
For more information on the e-business program or the Southern University College of Business, contact Dr. Victor Mbarika at (225) 771-5643 or Dean Donald Andrews at (225) 771-5640.
This story originally appeared in The Southern Digest Online