Community Spotlight: Gauthier Musenge Mwanza, Associate Professor and Researcher in Sociology

With experiences across both public and private sectors, Gauthier Musenge Mwanza uses his master’s degree in Sociology to focus on the issues in his local community, as well as across the world.

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Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

I am Gauthier Musenge Mwanza, and I graduated with a master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Kinshasa (RDC). I completely my sociology thesis in 2014 and today, I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kinshasa, as well as a faculty member of the Social Communications department at the Catholic University of Congo. My research focuses on urban poverty, reproductive health and HIV/AIDs, and sociological epistemology.


What challenges and opportunities were you faced with during your doctorate?

To gather the data I needed for my thesis, I had to conduct a great deal interviews in order to have a sample size large enough to accurately represent the social setting of Kinshasa which was nearly impossible. It was difficult to investigate male homosexuaity, because it’s a subject that is still very taboo in our country. With my commitment to my research combined with my boldness, I was able to brave this complication and get this information I needed to achieve significant results. Fortunately, I had financial support during my graduate school as well as a methodological direction, because my thesis was registered in 2013 to the African Stock Exchange for Thesis Writing (ADDRF), which is organized by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). 

Also, I benefited greatly from being a member of the following international organizations that provide publications for researchers: the Royal Museum of Central Africa (RMCA) in Tervuren, Belgium, the Laboratory of Studies and Research on Dynamics and Local Development (LASDEL) in Niamey in Niger, the Laboratory of Anthropology and Prospective (LAAP) of the Catholic University of Louvain in Louvain-La-Neuve in Belgium, the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Catholic University of Leuven in Leuven, Belgium, and Africa One based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.


How were you limited in your research in Congo?

I will refer mainly to the "poor" and old libraries that make knowledge obsolete. The Congolese government finances little scientific research, so the lack of scholarships and other subsidies make the work difficult. The lack of motivation and mentor does not help! Even the instability of electricity hinders time management and Internet access.

There exists so many social issues in the country that Congolese scientists prefer to focus their research on local topics than global ones. Unfortunately, many work in isolation, and their work is not published on the internet, therefore, scientific networks never see these projects, nor does this research benefit from the impact of being present in scientific journals.


Do you work in a public or private sector today?

I wear many hats, actually! I am teaching at the public University of Kinshasa and at the private Catholic University of Congo where I supervise the students in their end-of-cycle work and dissertation related to poverty and marginality in urban areas, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, social sexual relations. Also, I am a researcher, and I present at many conferences, workshops, and seminars on various topics such as “Doing research on gender: issues and perspectives,” “Infectious Diseases and Women's Health and the Empowerment Women in Research,” and Social Science methodology. Finally, I am a consultant for public and private institutions, local and international. I am a consultant for Dean Foster Associates (DFA) of Intercultural Global Solutions located in Brooklyn, NY, as well as others in France, England, Kinshasa among others. Recently, I supervised the rehabilitation of drinking water supply systems in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Originally, I wanted to work in the humanitarian sector as an international civil servant but the opportunities as a young researcher gave me passion for teaching and scientific research.

Find all the publications of Gauthier Musenge Mwanza on his profile!