TOFAC 2018
Prof. Toyin Falola speaks during the opening session of the Eighth Toyin Falola Annual International Conference (TOFAC) on Africa and the African Diaspora held at the auditorium on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.Photo: Antonio Longangi

By Diana Meso

USIU-Africa in partnership with the Toyin Falola Annual International Conference (TOFAC) hosted the Eighth Conference on Africa and the African Diaspora themed “Beyond History – African Agency” from July 3-5.

The three-day event which was the first to be held in Kenya, aimed at demystifying and identifying ways in which Africa can innovate the future for itself based on a progressive embrace of a young, productive, optimistic and endowed Africa. It was attended by over 200 participants representing at least 15 countries.
During the opening session at the auditorium, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza welcomed the participants saying that the conference plays a key role in Africa’s redefining itself as the driver of its destiny, by harnessing the productive energies of its ample youth and capitalizing on the synergies of its diaspora and making peace with the necessity of forging global alliances.

Prof. Toyin Falola- after whom the conference is named - also welcomed the delegates describing the conference as a platform to engage on the need to produce knowledge at the highest levels of excellence.

In her keynote speech, Professor of Security Leadership and Development at King’s College, London, Prof. Funmi Olonisakin, urged participants to change the way Africans are being listened to as part of a transformative process.

“Those who matter most are not speaking overtly, if we do not look for answers, by looking beyond that which is presented to us, we might actually in essence be sustaining the very inequalities and inequities that create the kind of continent in which our agency is hijacked, and appropriated,” she said.

Rise Learn Partnership
From Left: Mrs. Cecilia Mweru (Career and Placement Officer), Ms. Bernice Nasimiyu (Director, Solution Finders Development Center), Mr. Stephen Olieka (Human Resource Segment Head at Safal Group), Mrs. Emily Kamunde (Director of Rise & Learn), Prof. Paul Zeleza (Vice Chancellor), Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono (DVC Academic and Student Affairs), Ms. Hellen Ambasa (Director Legal Services and Company Secretary), Ms. Mina Kaburu (Career and Placement Officer) and Mr. James Ogolla (Director University Advancement) during the MOU signing on Friday, June 22, 2018 at the VC’s board room.Photo: Antonio Longangi

By Cecilia Mweru and Ernest Anguru


USIU-Africa and Rise and Learn Mentorship Group (RLM)- a product of Rise & Learn Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide mentorship to graduate students aimed at equipping them with skills needed for their career progression. The event was held on Friday, June 22 and was attended by USIU-Africa Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, DVC Academic and Student Affairs Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono and Director of Rise & Learn Mrs. Emily Kamunde.

The partnership provides a platform for RLM Group to compliment and support the Placement and Career Services (PACS) Student Mentorship Program through various trainings that will enable graduates explore their career options, identify and prepare for opportunities in the job market and access internship, volunteer and job openings in partner organizations.

The inaugural program will be launched on Wednesday, July 25 during the Career Fair Graduate Connect networking event and will admit 40 graduates who will be matched with their individual mentors.The event was also graced by Human Resource Segment Head at Safal Group Mr. Stephen Olieka, Founder and Director, Solution Finders Development Center Ms. Bernice Nasimiyu, Director of University Advancement Mr. James Ogolla, Director of Legal Services and Company Secretary Ms. Hellen Ambasa, and Placement and Career Services officers Ms. Mina Kaburu and Mrs. Cecilia Mweru.

RLM Group is a consortium of Human Resource professionals from well-established HR firms in Kenya whose objective is to provide mentorship to young people.
Rise & Learn Limited is a HR Consulting and Training firm aimed at impacting lives and multiplying the impact through training.

Interested participants may register through contacting Career and Placement Officer Mrs. Cecilia Mweru on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. /0730 116 778 or through visiting the PACS office, 2nd Floor, Freida Brown Student Center.
AIESEC digital Training
Ms. Vivienne Ethangatta (Digital and Social Media Manager, Safaricom) discusses Digital Marketing during the Digitalk Campus Edition hosted by AIESEC USIU-Africa on Thursday, June 28 at the Freida Brown Student Center. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Peter Mbwana & Antonio Longangi


On Thursday June 28, USIU-Africa’s AIESEC and IT club hosted the Digitalk Campus Tour- an initiative of Eyeballs Marketing firm aimed at sensitizing and training young people on ways to access and exploit opportunities provided by the development in technology.

The event entailed a panel discussion comprising of Safaricom Digital and Social Media Manager Ms. Vivienne Ethangatta, Brighter Monday Chief Executive Officer Mr. Emmanuel Mutuma and Local artiste Mr. Anthony Gitau famously known as Anto Neosoul.

Ms. Ethangatta encouraged participants to keenly take up internship opportunities adding that they act as a leeway to the next big step in their career life.
“I was able to turn my passion into a career by proactively rejuvenating the social media platforms of the companies I interned with, through practical learning, I was able to set myself on my current career path,” she said.

Mr. Mutuma pointed out that with the current technology advances, there is easy access to digital platforms which makes the digital space one of the most competitive in terms of capturing and maintaining the attention of an audience, adding that it is crucial for participants to identify their competition to help in curving out one’s niche audience in order to effectively stand out.In conclusion, Mr. Gitau gave three key elements of surviving in the digital space; practicing self-awareness, identify primary audience and being resilient. He also encouraged participants to take advantage of networking opportunities as they expose one to industry experience.
Nairobi Half Life
Prof. Paul Zeleza (Vice Chancellor) together Mr. James Ogolla (Director, University Advancement) and Dr. Rachael Diang’a (Assistant Professor of Film) receive 200 copies of the Nairobi Half Life film from Ms. Grace Kago (Kenya Film Commission) (Right) and Mr. William Wakasiaka (Ginger Ink) (Second left).

Dr. Rachael Diang’a and Diana Meso

The School of Communication, Cinematics and Creative Arts (SCCCA) received a donation of 200 copies worth Ksh. 100,000 of the Kenyan award-winning film Nairobi Half Life from Ginger Ink- a Kenyan-based film servicing and production company on Thursday July 5.

The donation presented by Kenya Film Commission’s Ms Grace Kago and Ginger Ink representative Mr. William Wakasiaka was received by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza and Assistant Professor of Film Dr. Racheal Diang’a. This will be used as training materials for students taking Film Production and Directing and Animation courses and help the students appreciate and support local films.

In his remarks, Prof. Zeleza thanked the donors and pointed out that USIU-Africa aims at positioning SCCCA as one of the best film school in the region by responding to industry needs and economy’s demand through tapping into the vast creative talents in the University and the increasing realization of the place of creative industries in Kenya’s economy.

The film will be screened at the Old Gym-TV Room on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 from 5 pm.
Nairobi Half Life is a 2012 Kenyan drama film that tells the story of an aspiring actor who travels from his rural home to Nairobi with the hope of achieving his dreams but instead ends up tangled with a mob of criminals.

Criminal Justice Conference 19062018 36
Participants pose for a group photo following the opening session of the USIU-Africa Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference held from June 19-20 in the Library and Information Center. PHOTO:ANTONIO LONGANGI

By DR. Simeon P. Sungi

On June 19 and 20, scholars and practitioners from the East African region and other parts of the world were hosted by the School of Humanities & Social Sciences, to deliberate on issues relating to “Access to Justice and the Enforcement of Rights in Criminal Courts in East Africa.

The USIU-Africa Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference is an annual conference established by faculty in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, to respond to the new direction spelt out in the University’s Strategic Plan 2015 – 2020, which focuses on research and bridging the gap between industry and academia.

The Organizing Committee received 40 abstracts, addressing the seven sub-themes: Development of penal reform in East Africa and beyond; Non-lawyers and justice delivery; Promoting international humanitarian law through the criminal justice system; Corrections and rehabilitation; Access to justice and human rights; Gender and access to justice and Accessing legal aid in the criminal justice system in East Africa and beyond.

Drug Awareness Day 26062018 95
Staff members and volunteers from Counseling Center march on campus, to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Wednesday, June 27. From Left to right (front): Ms. Noelle Khayanje (Senior Counselor) and Ikeije Obinna (Psychology major). PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI


By Simeon P. Sungi

This year’s commemoration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was held for the first time in Africa, at the United Nations Office in Nairobi on June 26, where the inaugural World Drug Report 2018 was launched.

The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking was established by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 42/112 of December 7, 1987 to strengthen global action and cooperation.

In delivering his keynote address, Nairobi Senator Hon. Johnson Sakaja, noted that the Government of Kenya is firmly resolved to respond to the illicit drug epidemic, even suggesting that Parliament should strengthen legislation dealing with drug abuse, for example, amending the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (Chapter 244) of the Laws of Kenya to seal all the loopholes that allow, for instance chemists to sell prescription drugs without proper prescription notes from a doctor. He also emphasized the need to focus on mental health in responding to individuals who are drug addicts.

Guest Lecture Criminal Justice 18062018 020 1
Dr. Josephine Dawuni speaking to faculty and students from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences during her guest lecture on the research she has conducted into contributions by African women judges, on June 18, 2018. PHOTO: DAN MUCHAI

By Simeon Sungi


On June 18, the USIU-Africa Institute of Public Policy and International Affairs, and the Criminal Justice and International Relations programs invited Dr. Josephine Dawuni, Assistant Professor of Political Science from Howard University, in Washington D.C., to give a talk related to her recently edited book titled “International Courts and the African Woman Judge: Unveiled Narratives”, published this year by Routledge.

Dr. Dawuni’s book expounds on the contributions of African women in international institutions, especially courts and tribunals, which she argues are always underreported and unexplored. Thus her research focused on demystifiying the Western narrative that gender parity is a result of pressure from donors through foreign aid.

Dr. Dawuni also spoke about her experiences as a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) fellow, at the Faculty of Law in the University of Ghana. She emphasized how the research collaboration between African scholars in Africa and those in the diaspora, can produce empirically driven policies that could benefit the continent and empower Africans.

Launch USIUAfrica Archives 13062018 062
A guest reads a description attached to a portrait of USIU-Africa’s first President Dr. William C. Rust, during the launch of the USIU-Africa Archives by the Vice 
Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Bonface Odhiambo

The Library and Information Center joined the global community in celebrating the International Archives Day by hosting the first annual USIU-Africa Archives Week from June 12 -14, to sensitize the University community on the existence, scope and value of archival materials and archival repositories.

To this end, the Library prepared a thematic display of exhibits that focused on a wide range of subjects comprising rare collections, classical records, past newspaper editions, pictorials and artefacts at the library atrium.

The highlight of the three-day celebration of the University’s documentary history, was the launch of the USIU-Africa Archives, as a new section of the Library and Information Center, at a ceremony presided over by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza. In his remarks, Prof. Zeleza reiterated the necessity of archives as an important repository of institutional memory, and a link between the past, present and future, promising to donate his personal archives to add to the University’s archival collection.

By Wanjiku Mbugua & Antonio Longangi

Members of the Chinese I & II (CHI1000 /CHI1001) foreign language classes participated in an out of class Chinese cooking experience from Monday, June 4 to Thursday, June 7 at the Cafeteria. Given that Chinese as a language is best learnt through practice and interaction with rich elements of Chinese culture, students are exposed to hands-on preparation of traditional meals prepared in most households in China.

Therefore every fifth week of each semester, students of Chinese Language prepare and partake of Chinese cuisine besides learning what it’s like to be part of a team. The meals students had to cook and have a taste of included dumplings, baozi, tofu, iced tea, green tea and Chinese stir-fried rice, which are more popular in Northern China, and are lighter in flavor and spices unlike Southern China dishes.

By Antonio Longangi

Members of Young Diplomat Forum (YDF) Club hosted a preparatory mock debate on Saturday, June 16 at the auditorium, to prepare for the upcoming Sub-Saharan International Model United Nations Conference (SAIMUN). The debate brought together participants from 14 local universities registered for the conference, to discuss topics generated from the general conference theme “Humanity at a Crossroads: Global Action for Sustainable Development.” The exercise also aimed at evaluating the preparations that have been conducted separately within respective institutions ahead of the conference that is meant to spur active youth involvement in the global development agenda based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The club, which has been holding its own peer-to-peer conference training since May 25, will present a delegation of 80 students at the conference, which will be held from July 2 - 6 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi in Gigiri.