USIU-Africa alumnus named as a Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellow

By Kevin Mudavadi and Brenda Odhiambo

Muema Wambua, an alum of the class of 2011 and a PhD candidate in the Department of International Relations is one of the three-time recipients of the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellowships, awarded by the Social Sciences Research Council (SSRC), in New York. The fellowships include; Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Fellowship, Doctoral Dissertation Research Fellowship, and Doctoral Dissertation Completion Fellowship. He was awarded the fellowships in 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively.

Mr. Wambua holds a Master of Arts in International Relations (Summa Cum Laude) from USIU-Africa and a Bachelor of Arts in History (First Class Honors) from Kenyatta University. He has a keen interest in International Relations, especially in the thematic areas of international interventions, peace and conflict research, as well as international trade. In addition, he is a director in the Department of Trade, Industrialization and Innovation in the Government of Machakos County, Kenya. In June 2018, he was appointed as a part-time lecturer in the Department of Peace and International Studies at Daystar University, Nairobi.

The Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program responds to an emerging dilemma within higher education in the global South caused by the extraordinary emphasis on increasing undergraduate enrollment without proportionate investment in faculty development. This situation erodes the ability of universities to produce the next generation of researchers, leaders, and practitioners. The program currently operates to strengthen tertiary education in Africa through a series of institutional and individual interventions, creating a pipeline for the development of faculty and research communities.

In his remarks following the award of the fellowship, Wambua notes that he has a chance to be one of the leading voices in International Relations, both in the region and globally.

“As one of the 173 fellows in the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program, I have the opportunity to explore new avenues of inquiry in the field of International Relations, in addition to finding new forms for community engagement and undertaking research on some of the most important issues of the day, as envisioned by the SSRC,” he said.

Mr. Wambua is the author of “The Ethnification of Electoral Conflicts in Kenya: Options for Positive Peace,” published in the African Journal on Conflict Resolution (2017) by ACCORD and “Transitional Justice and Peacebuilding: The ICC and TJRC Processes in Kenya,” published in the African Conflict and Peacebuilding Review (2019) by Indiana University. Wambua has also contributed a chapter titled ‘Hurting Stalemate in International Interventions: An Analysis of the African Agency in the IGAD-Led Engagements in the South Sudan Crisis, 2013-2018,’ In Munyi, E., Mwambari, D. & Ylönen, A. (eds.). Beyond History: African Agency in Development, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution (2020) published by Rowman & Littlefield.

The Next Generation Social Sciences Program is funded by the Higher Education and Libraries in Africa Program, Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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