The eLearning Fundi

Random reflections about eLearning in Africa


Printable Resume in PDF

James Kariuki Njenga, PhD

E: jkariuki(at)gmail(dot)com

Information Systems

Academia – Corporate – International

Information Systems Management – Business Process Management – Information Systems Research – Information Systems/Technology Training – IT Governance – IT administration – IT Strategy

A recognized authority in Information Systems with a track record of achievements through critical and empathetic engagement with people. A collaborative Information Systems guru with grounded experience in research and training in complex, diverse and dispersed environments. Very dynamic, flexible and adaptable and able to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Specialized communicator who seasoned in dealing with individual stakeholders and large audiences as well.

– Academic Qualifications –
MBA, University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape Town, anticipated 2016
PhD, Information Systems, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, 2011
M. Com, Information Systems, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, 2006
B. Science, Computer Science, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, 2002

Experience and Accomplishments
University of the Western Cape, Cape Town (2005–Present)
Key Contributions: Managed the growth in output of the department as measured through the Full Time Equivalent. Managed the inception of two very successful academic programmes. All this is through leveraging internal resources at a time when the department was facing human resources challenges.

A) Head of Department of Information Systems (2013–Present)
Play a crucial role of ensuring smooth and orderly administrative and academic functioning of the department. Creating collaborative and cooperative environment for colleagues as well as managing personal development of all colleagues in the department. Maintaining the highest academic standards in the department through regular reviews, updates of curriculum and academic rules. Managing more than 15 staff members’ procedures including appointments and leave procedures. Managing all departmental financial and budgetary (operational) procedures. Provided management advice to the University’s Enterprises Architecture and Information Systems Committee of Senate on IT portfolio management and risk management.

Increased departmental output (Full Time Equivalent)

  • Increased the number of students enrolling for Information Systems course by ensuring relevance of offering and maintaining high standards for the courses. At the moment, the department is one of the largest in terms of student number, and also has one of the largest student to staff ratio.
  • Created one of the best tutorial and tutorial support framework for all first and second year students. In response to concerns that first year students are underprepared for higher education, took on lead role in creating and managing the departmental tutorial programme that has seen student academic success drastically improve.

Managed the establishment of two new programmes

  • The International Master of Health Information Management is a joint academic project among three universities in three different countries. As UWC coordinator, provide logistical, planning and implementation processes as well as manage the communication and relationships with the external parties.
  • The Post Graduate Diploma in Information and Communication Technology is a conversion degree that prepares unemployed or underemployed, academically able graduates for a career in software development. The success of this programme is its 100% placement of students after graduation.


B) Senior Lecturer, Department of Information Systems (2012–Present)
C) Lecturer, Department of Information Systems (2008–2011)

A great team player in the area of teaching, research and research supervision. Prepared and taught a wide spectrum of courses both at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Participate in a number of University and faculty committees. In addition to my teaching and research duties that duly earned me a promotion, too up administrative and volunteer work in the department including undergraduate programme coordination, external certification liaison, and updating of the departmental website.

  • Prepared and offered a number of courses including IT/IS policy formulation and implementation, Business Process Management, IT/IS (Service, Vendor, Infrastructure, Practice) Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, and IT/IS research. Have always received high ratings for course relevance, knowledge of the subject areas, and being available to students.
  • Have successfully co-supervised on PhD student, and supervised 2 Masters’ students, and more than 20 Honours students.  Currently supervising (including co-supervision) 8 Masters’ students, 4 PhD students.
  • Principal Researcher and Grant Holder of Research Initiatives Programme (RIP). Leading the development of models, methodologies and capabilities for socially informed digital innovation in disadvantaged communities.
  • Co-Promoter, Zone-it 2.0 – Building an active student community in Africa through digital innovation. Managing and coordinating activities in development of a mobile application; and managing relationships with partners in Belgium and Tanzania.

D) Project Manager, South African Finland Partnership (SAFIPA) – UWC (2008–2011)

Caretaker manager who managed the completion of a number of pending tasks in the programme, financial and activities reporting, and facilitated the final monitoring and evaluation of the project activities, outcomes and impacts. Successfully trained FET lecturers in 6 provinces in South Africa and was awarded the best run project with the greatest impact.

E) Instructional Designer (2005–2008)

Guided many teaching/academic staff in the creating and effective solutions for our web-based learning portal including the design and facilitation of online learning, and creation of learning materials, planning and the development of interactive and instructionally sound online learning activities. Our success as a team saw many of the courses offered at the University loaded onto the Learning Management System.

 Additional Experience
A) Consultant, The, Cape Town  (2007-present)
B) Mentored Internship Project (MIP) Manager, GIZ, Bonn (home-based)(2010–2011)
C) Learning support Technologist, University of Nairobi, Nairobi  (2003-2004)
Awards & Affiliations
Research Initiatives Programme (RIP) Grant (2015-2019)
Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) Small Research Grant (2015)
The Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (Sylff) fellow (since 2008)
Free Software Foundation of Africa (FOSSFA), member (since 2008)
The ICT in Higher Education (HictE) Grant (2004-2005)
Technical Skills and Certifications
Linux Professional Institute Certification (LPIC I), Linux Professional Institute (2010)
Solution Consultant mySAP ERP – Fundamentals & Integration of Business Processes (TERP10) (2008)
eLearning Development and Implementation (eLDI), InWent (now GIZ) (2007)
Operating Systems (Fedora, Ubuntu, Suse, Windows, Mac OS)
Productivity Software (Openoffice Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, Internet and mail Software).
Programming languages (PHP, Python, HTML, Pascal, Delphi, C++, ASP).
Databases (MYSQL, MS Access, Oracle, MS SQL server).

Peer reviewed publications
Njenga, J. K and Fourie, L. C. H (2010) The myths about e-learning in higher education, British Journal of Education Technology, 41(2):199–212, DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8535.2008.00910.x

Stoltenkamp, J., Kies, C and Njenga, J (2007). Institutionalising the eLearning Division at the University of the Western Cape (UWC): Lessons Learnt. International Journal of Education & Development using Information & Communication Technology 3(4): 143-152

Book Chapters
Njenga, J. K & Fourie, L C H. (2011). Here and Now or Coming in the Future? eLearning in Higher Education in Africa. In Bowdon M & Carpenter RG. Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, and Community Partnerships: Concepts, Models and Practices, IGI Global: 286-298.

Conference proceedings

Njenga, J., K. and Fourie, L., C., H. (2008) eLearning adoption conceptual framework: the link between eLearning characteristics and adopters characteristics, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on e-Learning University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa 26-27 June 2008 pp. 337-346

Stoltenkamp, J., Njenga, J. K & Kies, C. (2007). Building Training Networks for a Free eLearning System, Proceedings of the IST-Africa Conference, Maputo, Mozambique, 9 – 11 May 2007

Njenga, J., K and Bytheway A. (2006). Using Developmental Research To Design A Web-Based Instructional Design Subsystem, Proceedings of the 2nd Annual International Conference on Sustainable ICT Capacity In Developing Countries, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, 6 – 9 August 2006

Njenga, J., K and Bytheway A. (2006). Using Developmental Research to Design a Web-Based Instructional Design Subsystem: Report on the Software Design Process, Proceedings of the Conference on Information Technology in Tertiary Education (CITTE), Pretoria, South Africa, 18 – 20 September 2006.

Njenga, J., K. (2011). eLearning adoption in Eastern and Southern African higher education institutions, Unpublished PhD Thesis, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Njenga, J., K. (2005). Instructional Design Process in a Web-Based Learning Management System: Design, Implementation and Evaluation Issues, Unpublished Masters Thesis, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

Baelden, D., Van Audenhove, L., Fourie, L., Njenga, J. K., Debandt, A., Manolache, A., Vekov, D. & Adams, R. (2014) Zone-IT: A location-based & community oriented mobile application for the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Results from the needs analysis and co-design study, 44p. DOI: 10.13140/2.1.2053.8243