Copperbelt University (CBU), Zambia, has joined the Virtual Institute as a core member, bringing the number of countries represented in the Vi to 35.
It is thanks to the Permanent Mission of Zambia in Geneva that the Vi established contact with CBU, whose representatives were selected to attend a Vi regional professional development workshop on natural resources organized in Tanzania last summer.
Established in 1987, CBU is one of the three public universities in Zambia. The oldest of its six Schools is the School of Business, which will be the main Vi counterpart at the university.
CBU offers undergraduate and graduate courses in business administration, as well as graduate courses in economics and economic development. It also has plans to develop a BSc and an MSc in economics which would also include a course on natural resources - a topic of particular relevance to the country given its mineral wealth (copper, cobalt). The university and the staff that will be involved in the Virtual Institute have conducted research on issues related to international business/international trade.
The participation of the university in the Vi will be coordinated by John Lungu, Associate Professor at the Department of Business Administration. A holder of a PhD in Economics, he is responsible for the course on economic development. His research interests cover agricultural development, economic diversification, and extractive industries.
Lungu will be supported by seven other colleagues, including the Dean of the School of Business, Kapena Sumbye, who specializes in international trade and finance. The other colleagues are in charge of a variety of courses: macro- and micro-economics; international and monetary economics; corporate and business law; entrepreneurship; international business; public finance; managerial economics; investment management and intellectual property.
CBU is ready to share with other members perspectives from a land-locked country dependent on natural resources for development. They are looking for support in the development of their MSc in Economics, and wish to develop research cooperation with other members of the network. They are also interested in staff exchanges, and possibly student exchanges in the future.