Dr. David Mwambari (Assistant Professor of International Relations) delivers brief remarks during the Consultative Meeting on Identity, Violence and Social Cohesion in Kenya at the InterContinental Nairobi on Monday, February 13. Looking on are (from third left): Dr. Pierre Sane (USIU-Africa University Council member), Mr. Siddharth Chatterjee (UN Resident Coordinator) and Prof. Peter Kagwanja (African Policy Information Center, University of Nairobi).

Dr. David Mwambari (Assistant Professor of International Relations) spoke at the Consultative Meeting on Identity, Violence and Social Cohesion in Kenya at the InterContinental Nairobi organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the Intercontinental Nairobi on Monday, February 13.

In his remarks, Dr. Mwambari decried the use of ethnic identities as a political mobilization tool, instead noting that cultural diversity can reap dividend for social and economic progress, in East Africa and elsewhere in the world. He also noted that though the media (including social media) is still a tool used by “conflict entrepreneurs” to fan ethnic hatred, it can be used as a force for good, when it creates platforms for dialogue among political rivals and stakeholders.

Finally, quoting from the Yvonne Owuor’s novel “Dust” he encouraged universities and scholars to invest effort into research on the root causes of identity-based violence, emphasizing the responsibility of scholars to find creative avenues beyond library shelves to educate and share their research findings with policy makers and the general public.