Award-winning PR scholar Julia Jahansoozi, director of our joint Master Programme in Strategic Public Relations, is at Campus Helsingborg this week.
On Monday, Julia, from Stirling University, Scotland, gave a fascinating insight into her current work, including investigating lobbying in Nigeria, researching industry–community relationship building in the Canadian petroleum industry, public private partnerships in sub-Saharan West Africa, and a new project which will soon start on institutional capacity building in India.
Nigeria doesn’t always enjoy the best media profile – Forbes Magazine recently ranked it as the 20th saddest place to live in the whole world: ‘Decades of corruption have squandered great oil and gas wealth, while new concerns involve sectarian violence.’ But after living there for four months, Julia gave a rather more nuanced picture of a warm, friendly and vibrant society… with just a few death threats to liven up the communicative process.
Julia’s work focused on the cassava industry. Cassava is a root vegetable, which has long been a staple food for many Africans, but it can also be used to produce ethanol that can be used as vehicle fuel, in glues, and industrial grade starch. “Cassava has gained considerable political interest over recent years because of its great commercial potential – were are talking five billion US Dollars a year – so the complex relationships between its varíous stakeholder and activist groups are fascinating and an challenging.
“My research showed ignoring vested interests can undermine even the most popular government intiative.”
Here is Julia’s presentation, Lobbying in Nigeria.