Posts filed under ‘seminar’

State, Economy & Society: Reflections on Constitutions in Africa By Professor Yash Pal Ghai, Nov. 5 2015 @ BIEA

State of the Economy
Date: 5 November 2015
Venue: BIEA Seminar room, Laikipia road, Kileleshwa
Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Since the beginning of colonialism in the early 19th century, African states have experienced a large number of constitutions, in both the colonial and post-independence periods. Each constitution has expressed the exigencies and expectations of the moment; some have been imposed, others the decisions of the people. If we regard the primary purpose of a constitution to promote constitutionalism, most constitutions have been failures. Using social science concepts of state, economy and society, Ghai explains the causes of the failure of constitutionalism…

November 2, 2015 at 11:13 am Leave a comment

Tanzania at the Crossroads – Assessing the Oct. 25 General Elections, Nov. 3 2015 @ IFRA

with Cyrielle Maingraud-Martinaud & Murithi Mutiga

Date and Time: Tuesday November 3, 2015 at 4pm
Venue: IFRA

On 25 October, Tanzanian held its 5th general elections since the reintroduction of multipartism. If final results are not yet known at this time, it is clear that their outcome will be of tremendous importance for the future of the United Republic, which is considered to be one of the most stable countries of the region.

Several factors have made these elections the most competitive since 1992: the alliance of main opposition parties under the banner of Ukawa, the defection of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, the divisions among the ruling party CCM and the habituation to democracy of Tanzanian citizens.The demand for change, especially from urban and young voters, has constituted a serious challenge to the ruling party and has already lead to the defeat of high profile CCM parliamentary candidates ; on the other side, CCM has been able, with the reputation of its candidate John Magufuli, to campaign on a strong anti-corruption agenda, undermining a traditional advantage for the opposition.

This seminar will investigate the implication of the proceeding of these elections on Tanzanian political dynamics as well as for East Africa.

October 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm 1 comment

Storymoja Festival 2015, Sept. 16-20 2015 @ Nairobi Arboretum

Storymoja Festival 2015
Dates: September 16-20, 2015
Venue: Nairobi Arboretum
Time: from 9 am every day apart from Sept. 16, 2015
Tickets: KES 1000

Download the 2015 Storymoja Festival Programme [pdf]

Visit for more information.

September 10, 2015 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

Nairobi Seminar Series: #Burundi2015 – The Crisis is Now, Aug. 27 2015 @ BIEA Seminar Room

Burundi 2015
Date: August 27, 2015
Venue: BIEA Seminar Room
Time: 11 am – 12.30 pm

August 22, 2015 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

Seminar: Imagining Social Justice – Images of Obama, Culture & Human Rights in Kenya, Jul. 23 2015 @ BIEA

Nairobi Seminar Series
Imagining Social Justice: Images of Obama, Culture & Human Rights in Kenya presentation by Steve Ouma Akoth

Date: July 23, 2015
Venue: BIEA, Laikipia road Seminar Room
Time: 11.00 am – 12.30pm
Entry: Prior RSVP

This project reveals how notions of inclusion and exclusion are mediated through the images of Barack Obama and the politics of patronage in K’Ogelo, Siaya County. It examines the happenings in K’Ogelo after Barack Obama becomes president of the United States as an illustration of how culture and patronage tend to be appropriated in contemporary Kenya to define the meanings and frame the subject of human rights. The Book project explores various spaces and conjunctures where the images of Obama continue to be used in K’Ogelo and among other actors who live on the social margins of Kenya’s cities to give a cogent and systematic reading of both the cultural context and human behavior.

Find more information here

July 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

IFRA Seminar: Beyond Sex & Money – Thinking Culture In Afro-European Intimacies, Jun. 16 2015 @ IFRA/BIEA

by Dr. Altaïr Després – Univerity Paris 1 Sorbonne

Date: June 16, 2015
Venue: IFRA
Time: 11 am
Entry: Prior RSVP – at:

Focusing on the case of Western women travelling to Zanzibar, this paper seeks to explore how sexual intimacy with indigenous men can be a space for cultural transactions. While the economic issue is currently at the heart of the anthropological and sociological understanding of “transactional sex” or “sex-tourism” in Africa, little consideration is given to the role of symbolic and cultural resources in the economy of transnational sexuality and desire.
My hypothesis is that in a globalized sexual market not only do cultural stereotypes shape desire (intimate tourist encounters sometimes originate in racial stereotypes about the sexual performances of African men for example), but sexuality can also be a means to access cultural resources. By focusing on cultural transactions, the paper examines how, on the one hand, Western women engaged in intimate relations with African men discover local practices which are less accessible from ordinary tourist circuits, as their African boyfriends play the role of “cultural brokers” and teach them about local customs. On the other hand, this paper analyses to what extent, through intimacy, Western women also act as brokers, mobilizing their (cultural) skills for their partner by teaching him a foreign language or using their knowledge to formalize a business.

June 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm 1 comment

Seminar: Gendered Citizenship, Politics and Public Spaces in Kenya, Sept. 23 2014 @ BIEA, Laikipia Rd

Gendered Citizenship, Politics and Public Spaces in Kenya By Christina Kenny, PhD Candidate, Australian National University
Date: Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Time: 11.00 am
Venue: BIEA, Laikipia Rd, Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Entry: RSVP at

Shortly after the 2013 general elections, the newly elected women’s representative for Nairobi county, Rachel Shebesh was slapped by the Governor of Nairobi Evans Kidero at his offices in front of a crowd of Kenyan reporters.

The new Kenyan constitution provides for women’s civil and political rights through a variety of innovative mechanisms, but in the months leading up to the 2013 elections, most Kenyan women did not seem to have a good understanding of the laws which are designed to protect women’s rights. Although the constitution had been in place for almost two years, the women I spoke to could only talk vaguely about the content of their constitutional rights. Against the recent focus on women’s representation in Kenyan politics, my doctoral thesis, “We’ve agreed to be ruled”: Women’s public and private decision making in modern Kenya, examines the regulatory and interpersonal dynamics which drive women’s choices and behaviours, in both private and public spaces, with a dual focus on sex and sexuality rights, and civil and political rights. I employ an interdisciplinary approach – utilising cultural anthropology, history and law.

I examine the experiences of women entering politics and public space through a feminist lens. Through case studies drawn from the last two general elections, I interrogate the imperatives of international human rights discourse, and the demands such discourse places on its subjects.

Christina Kenny holds a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature, Early Modern History; Hons. I) and a Bachelor of Laws both from the University of Sydney, and is admitted as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW. She is currently PhD Scholar at the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies, at the Australian National University. She began her career as a policy officer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice team at the Australian Human Rights Commission and has since worked for the Australian Government for the Refugee Review Tribunal, and the Attorney General’s Department, the Women’s Legal Centre in Cape Town, the South African Human Rights Commission, and the Kenyan Human Rights Commission.

For more information and to RSVP please contact

September 18, 2014 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

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