The Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IPPIA) at USIU-Africa holds the Kenya at 60 conference

By Daisy Atino

The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), in partnership with the British Institute in East Africa, Kenya School of Government (KSG) and USIU-Africa’s Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IPPIA), recently hosted JSPS Eastern Africa alumni, local and international scholars for a two-day conference marking Kenya’s 60th anniversary.

The event, held last week on 26 & 27 October embraced a hybrid format, taking place both at the SHSS Rooftop and virtually via Zoom, with sessions running from 8 am to 5 pm.

Distinguished guests including Japan's Ambassador Ken Okaniwa and representatives from the Ministry of Interior and Foreign Affairs also graced the event.

Throughout the two days, participants were treated to insightful presentations from esteemed experts in their respective fields. These included Professor David Anderson from the University of Warwick, Dr. Francis Khayundi, an Assistant Professor at USIU-Africa, and Dr. John Mwangi from Laikipia University among others. The conference also provided a unique opportunity to hear from Mau Mau war veterans Gitu wa Kahengeri and Njenga Kiarie, who shared their experiences and perspectives on Kenya's history and struggle for independence.

To commence day one, the conference started with a look back at Kenya's history, acknowledging the struggles and achievements that have shaped the nation over the past six decades. It further delved into the role of women in leadership, acknowledging their pivotal contributions to Kenya's development. And the discussions also fed into democracy and governance, and the crucial elements that have played a significant role in shaping Kenya's political landscape.

On the second day, the conference shifted the focus to contemporary issues that concern Kenya such as security and peace like banditry in the north western part of Kenya. The discussions also centered on the youth and their role in Kenya's future and how their energy and potential can be utilized to drive the nation forward.

Overall, the Kenya at 60 conference was a vibrant and dynamic event that not only celebrated Kenya's rich heritage but also provided a platform for discussing its future challenges and opportunities. With a diverse range of topics and expert speakers, the event shed light on the complex and multifaceted aspects of Kenya's development journey.

It was a testament to the power of collaboration between local and international organizations in fostering dialogue, understanding, and progress in the nation.

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