While doing his first year at Makerere University, Dr. John Mushomi found himself in a challenging situation which led him to follow a career in sociology and later population migration and development. His choice was not based on the obvious reasons of finding the subject easy or loving the course instructor. It was rather the idea of wanting to prove to himself that he was not going to leave the University because he had failed the subject. He wanted to prove he would have the last say, and he did.

“Population migration and development are my passion”

His research focusing on migration has seen him work with scholars and practitioners throughout the continent and beyond. He is currently involved in setting up an Africa-wide University institute for Migration research to drive Migration research agenda on the continent guiding policy and planning for sustainable development. His interests in engaging with Africans in solving African problems was the reason he connected with the Pan African theme of the ECRLF program where he is currently a fellow.

Dr Mushomi sees Future Africa as a perfect catalyst for driving the African research agenda on the continent while contributing to guiding policy and ensuring sustainable development. He believes that the pressing issues in migration are challenged by the present reality of having a young south and an ageing north population. He says because of this; it is the perfect time for Africa to take a lead in directing conversations that offer tangible solutions in migration. He sees Future Africa taking that lead and providing an environment where solutions can be nurtured.

His current research is investigating how oil and gas discoveries contribute towards reforming countries. He is working on profiling the evidence regarding whether the discovery of oil in Uganda’s Albertine region offer a better form of development for the country in terms of the economic benefits tied to it, particularly for the society where oil has been discovered. His research will inform how such discoveries of natural resources, their approaches to extraction and trade of the oil addresses issues of economic development, intersectional disadvantage and environmental sustainability among the mostly rural communities, drawing from the capitalism economy and the oil curse theories.

He also hopes that the key decision makers in his home country of Uganda where this study is being conducted will have a better understanding of the issues related to extraction and trade of the oil in rural communities and thus give more thought on how these issues are handled. The study will also serve as a reference for both present and future oil discovery community experiences elsewhere in Africa. 

Dr. Mushomi believes that the experiences he has had through Future Africa will revolutionize the way he does his teaching and research. He has a new drive to seek out multidisciplinary collaboration and has become more strategic in the way he does his research. His message to young people, is that education is about finding solutions to problems of your time, pursuing it with a target. “What you target is what you hit. You target nothing, you hit exactly nothing!!!”. To the future cohort, his advice is to always ask your self – who is being impacted by your research and who can I collaborate with.