Dr. Kioko Ireri, Associate Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication together with four MA in Communication Studies students have published a research paper in the current issue of African Journalism Studies (AJS) - Africa’s leading journal in the field of journalism and mass communication, with the current impact factor of 0.171

Dr. Ireri, together with Mr. Eannes Ongus, Ms. Edna Laboso, Ms. Kangai Mwiti and Mr. Jared Onsongo  authored the article titled, “First-Level Agenda Setting: A Study of Press vs. Public Opinion in Kenya” which examined media agenda-setting effects in a Kenyan context in 2013 and 2014.

Focusing on the first-level agenda-setting, the study investigates whether two national daily newspapers (Daily Nation and The Standard) influenced public opinion on six issues of national importance: corruption, devolution, economic crisis, insecurity, poverty, and unemployment. Moreover, the study examined whether the newspapers’ agendas were related in connection to the coverage of the six issues.

Findings indicated that the two newspapers had little influence on the opinion of the Kenyan public regarding the six issues. This was based on a low correlation of +.30 between the two newspapers’ agendas and the public agenda. However, the agendas of the two publications were strikingly similar—yielding a perfect correlation of +1. This means in their news coverage, the newspapers gave similar weight to the six issues, which however didn’t resonate with Kenyans’ opinions.

An earlier version of the paper was presented at the third East African Multidisciplinary Annual Research Conference (EAMARC) held in USIU-Africa, from November 18-20, 2016.
Thursday, February 1 marked the official launch of this year’s Black History Month celebration at a ceremony attended by former Minister in the South Sudanese government Hon. Mabior Garang’ de Mabior, former Somali Minister of Finance and Treasury Mr. Hussein Abdi Halane, and their host Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza.

The Black History Month is an international observance that started in the United States of America, with the aim of promoting self-actualization in African-American communities and share with the world the rich cultural background and achievements of black people.

At USIU-Africa, the Black History Month offers an opportunity for students, members of faculty, staff and community partners to gather and discuss the achievements and challenges affecting African communities on the continent and in the diaspora. This celebration is observed every year during the month of February.

This year’s theme: The Impact of War on the African Youth, will engage the university community in exploration of past and current conflicts in Africa and their impact on the younger generations that now make up a majority of the population.

In his introductory remarks, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Tiyambe Zeleza discussed the origins of Black History Month in the United States and its spread to other parts of the world including Europe, with large African diaspora communities. He highlighted the significant contribution of the historic diaspora to the development of the Pan-Africanist movement that incubated the territorial nationalisms that led to decolonization across the continent. He also noted the significant contribution of the new diasporas to African economies through remittances that surpassed $67 billion in 2017, thus making the diaspora Africa’s biggest donor. He concluded by underscoring the importance of peace and the role of the youth in cultivating integrated, innovative, democratic and developmental states and societies, noting that the continent needs to ensure that the current youth bulge is turned into a demographic dividend rather than a demographic disaster, by providing the youth with high quality education and employability skills.

Current Black History Month Organizing Committee President Mr. Tut Marial (IBA Senior) believes the theme is relevant in Africa, “Conflict will always be an element of human civilization, and understanding its mechanism can mitigate the negative impact”, a fact underlined by the existential crisis facing Africa’s youngest country – South Sudan.

Hon. Mabior’s keynote address dwelt on the complex evolution of the civil war currently engulfing his country, emphasizing that, “There is no military solution to the conflict”. In his view, “The only way to end the war is for the people of South Sudan to have an honest and mature dialogue about the future of their country.” Hon. Mabior concluded by encouraging South Sudanese youth to arm themselves with knowledge as “knowledge is power!”

Mr Halane’s brief remarks expounded on the role played by education in empowering the youth in Somalia, and the hopes invested in the young population.

Other events in the Black History Month calendar include a Discussion Panel on February 7, and the Closing Ceremony on the last day of February. Student campus organizations have also been invited to collaborate with Black History Month’s Organizing committee to host additional events on different dates throughout February.
PROF. NANCY MUTURI is back in the School of Science and Technology, this time on a sabbatical appointment as a Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, in the Journalism and Communication Studies programs. Prof. Muturi is no stranger to USIU-Africa, having spent three months of 2017, as a Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellowship Program Fellow. She joins us from the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas State University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations, communication theory, research methods, health communication and gender issues.
Prof. Muturi attained her Bachelors and Masters in Sociology from the University of Nairobi before joining the University of Iowa, for a Masters and Ph.D. in Mass Communications. She brings a wealth of international experience having worked as a Lecturer, Health Communication Specialist, and graduate studies director at the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication, University of the West Indies.
She also worked as a Health Communication Fellow at the American national health agency - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prior to commencing her academic career.

RACHAEL DIANG’A
has also joined the School of Science and Technology as USIU-Africa’s very first Assistant Professor of Film. Dr. Diang’a, who holds a PhD in Film Studies, has accumulated over ten years’ experience in film research and scholarship. She is the author of the first book on Kenyan cinema – African Re-creation of Western Impressions: A Focus on the Kenyan Film (2011) and several journal articles/book chapters on post-colonial and African cinema.
Dr. Diang’a’s film production interests in scriptwriting, directing and producing, are evident in the several films she has produced and/or directed including: Our Strength (2012), The Invisible Workers (2013) and Drugnets (2015), and contribution as a film workshop trainer and mentor, film critic and adjudicator in several film festivals.
She is also a member of Nordic Association of Romantic Studies, Association of Media Women in Kenya, Kenya Film and Television Professionals Association and currently the Secretary of the Association of Film Producing Educational Institutions in Kenya.

AWUOR OGADA
has joined the Chandaria School of Business as a Lecturer of Accounting and Finance. She has been a member of the USIU-Africa for some time, having been a member of the inaugural graduating Doctor of Business Administration class of 2016, and had previously received her International Business Administration degree from the same School.
Dr. Ogada has close to ten years of teaching experience at Multimedia University including teaching here at USIU-Africa has an adjunct faculty. She has also accumulated over ten years of industry experience with Wrigley Co (EA) as their Accounting Manager, Orbit Distributors as their Chief Accountant, and Across Africa Safaris as their Financial Controller. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Karibuni!
Five School Deans will this Friday, February 2, provide the university community with updates on each school’s key initiatives, and activities in the current Academic Year, as well as the achievements, and challenges that their Schools faced in the 2016-2017 Academic Year.

Beginning September 2017 with the Vice Chancellor’s Convocation, the University adopted a strategy of keeping the university community informed on

Institutional progress as guided by the University’s vision, mission, core values, and the current Strategic Plan (2015/16-2019/20).

In November 2017, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono also held a Convocation where she enumerated the key achievements by the division she heads, as wells as the top priorities the division will pursue in this academic year.

All five School Deans have taken up their appointments within the last five months beginning with the Dean of the new School of Graduate Studies,

Research and Extension Prof. Amos Njuguna, Dean of the Chandaria School of Business Prof. Peter Lewa, Dean – School of Science and Technology Prof. Valerie Adema, Acting Dean – School of Humanities and Social Sciences Prof. Angelina Kioko, and Dean – School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Prof. Njeri Wamae.

Prof. Rono has invited the entire community to attend the Convocation, and to be seated by 10am in the auditorium, for the presentations expected to last until 12.30pm.
Concluding an eventful 2017, members of the Educate Your Own (EYO) student initiative held a self-evaluating exercise on Friday, December 1, 2017. The exercise aimed to present a report to their partners who they worked together through the year, and also gear up for the year 2018.

Targeting to raise KES 2 Million, the initiative had organized car washing activities and a thrift market held consecutively on campus. Contributions received from members of the university community enabled the initiative to provide scholarships to two students to bring to a total of 14 – the number of students receiving financial support from the Fund.

EYO’s vision for the New Year was reenergized following the release of a report, containing alarming statistics with regard to the rate of school drop-outs nationwide. The report which was published in the Daily Nation, revealed that 600 students dropped out of universities in Kilifi County in 2017.

The initiative will soon launch the 2018 edition of “Project Finje”, as well as seek monthly subscriptions from members of the university to be channeled directly to the scholarship fund.

From January 9-12, the University hosted a workshop organized by the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa Program sponsored by the USA Social Sciences Research Council, together with the African Leadership Center, and the African Peacebuilding Network. It brought together dozens of doctoral students from Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa, as well as faculty facilitators from these countries and the USA.

Since 1923, the Social Science Research Council has awarded more than fifteen thousand fellowships to researchers around the globe. These target specific problems, promote individual and institutional change and expansion of networks.

In his opening remarks, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza welcomed participants to the University, and thanked the SSRC for choosing USIU-Africa as the venue for this important workshop for the second year in a row. He shared with them a brief history of the University and what makes it distinctive. This includes the fact that it is the oldest private secular university in the region, its dual accreditation in Kenya and the USA, and its diversity as evident in its composition of students who come from more than 70 countries around the world.

He then outlined some of the key challenges facing African higher education. They include institutional supply as reflected in the continent’s enrolment ratios that are still much lower than the world average (12% compared to 33%) despite the rapid growth in the number of universities. There are also resource constraints both financial and physical. Another challenge concerns the quality of outputs in terms of the employability of graduates and skills mismatch with demands of the economy.

Moreover, there are severe shortages of faculty in general and those with terminal degrees. For example, according to CUE data, out of 16,318 faculty in Kenya’s universities only 34% have PhDs. The continent lags behind in research indicators and outputs. It accounts for only 1.3% of global R&D expenditures; allocates an average 0.5% of GDP to research, compared to a world average of 1.7% and for the developed countries of more than 60%; its share of world researchers is 2.3% compared to the global leader, Asia, with 42.8%; and it accounts for 2.6% of scholarly publications compared to 39.5% for Asia.

Other challenges center on the processes of appointing, preparing, and training university leaders, as well as those of governance in terms of regulatory regimes, role of governance bodies, and intra-institutional relations between different constituencies. However, he concluded, problems are the flipside of opportunities. In providing solutions to the prevailing challenges, innovative African universities and the next generation of scholars can establish institutions fit for the 21st century.

Later that afternoon, the Prof. Zeleza participated in a panel on “Africa and the World” together with Professor Alondro Nelson (President of SSRC), and Dr. Tade Aina (Executive Director, Partnership for African Social and Governance Research - Kenya) and a member of the USIU-Africa University Council. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Thomas Asher (Director of the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa program - NGSSAP). It focused on such issues as the dynamics of partnerships between African scholars and their counterparts abroad, especially in the academies of the global North, the imperatives of academic rigor and ethics in research, the changing cultures of knowledge production, the connections between theory and practice in academic research, the interface of research and development, and the linkages between the academy, the economy, and society.

Professor Zeleza also shared with the participants, the work of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) that sponsors African-born academics in the USA and Canada to the six countries where the NGSSAP operates as a model of mutually-beneficial, effective and innovative international scholarly exchange. The CADFP Secretariat is based here on campus, and Professor Zeleza, whose research sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 2011-2012 led to the formation of the program, chairs its Advisory Council.

Since 1923, the Social Science Research Council has awarded more than fifteen thousand fellowships to researchers around the globe. These target specific problems, promote individual and institutional change and expansion of networks.

Miss Rida Raheel (International Relations Senior) was sworn-in as the new Chairperson of the Student Affairs Council following the resignation of her predecessor Mr. Chad Naggi, in line with the Council’s Constitution.

Mr. Naggi, who is emigrating to continue his studies abroad, handed over to his erstwhile deputy, following the ceremony in the Freida Brown Student Center on Thursday, January 18, 2018. Among those present were DVC-Academic and Student Affairs Prof. Ruthie Rono, Ms. Helen Ombima (Director of Legal Services & Company Secretary), Associate DVC-Student Affairs Prof.  Wangari Mwai, Dean of Students Mr. Robert Onsarigo, among other senior university and student officials.

Reminiscing on his term in office, Mr. Naggi identified increased student activity as one of the signature successes of his administration, adding that the Council had established various committees to pursue matters of interest to various members of the student body.

He was particularly pleased by the partnerships he spearheaded on behalf of the Council,  with various private universities, which he hoped would help drive a common agenda, to the benefit of all parties.
Describing his successor as a “go getter who will stop at nothing to accomplish the task set ahead of her”, he predicted that Ms. Raheel will single-mindedly pursue and complete the Council’s agenda as envisioned eight months ago.

Speaking during the ceremony, the soft-spoken new Chair pledged to “…serve the welfare of students at the best of my abilities” aided by the remaining members of the SAC Senate, as well as other student leaders.

The Student Affairs Council Senate sits at the apex of student governance, as is elected for a one -year term by universal suffrage. The next elections due in March 2018, are expected to herald significant changes based on amendments made to the Universities Act (2014).
USIU-Africa alumnus Mr. George Omondi Obell (International Business Administration-Accounting '01) was the first Kenyan to be appointed to the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax matters (ECOSOC).

Mr Obell, a Chief Manager at Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA)’s International Tax Office, joined 24 other members who were selected from a pool of 60 nominees from across the world to be part of the committee for a period of four years. The new membership of ECOSOC, includes individuals from India, Japan, China, Brazil, Singapore, Russia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Colombia, Poland, Vietnam, Thailand, Jamaica, Argentina, Switzerland, Ecuador, Sweden, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Djibouti and Zambia.

ECOSOC is one of the six main organs of the global organization established by the UN Charter in 1946. It is the principal body for coordination, policy review, policy dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for implementation of the internationally agreed development goals. It is responsible for updating important UN international tax documents, which form the basis of many countries tax laws and tax treaty negotiations. The documents include the UN’s model double taxation convention between developed and developing countries, the practical manual on transfer pricing for developing countries and the manual for the negotiation of bilateral tax treaties between developed and developing countries.
Dr. Nancy Asiko Anyango, a member of the inaugural class of the Doctor of Business Administration, was appointed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in December 2017, to be the new Director of the monetary body's Office of Internal Audit and Inspection (OIA) effective February 2018. The unit is charged with conducting independent examinations of the Fund’s internal control and governance processes.

Dr. Anyango, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), holds several additional international certifications from global institutions including the Information Systems Audit and Control Association and the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Before her appointment, Dr. Anyango was the CEO of Reliance Risk Advisory Solutions, and has also been previously a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (Kenya) as well as Ernest & Young’s Governance, Risk and Compliance Leader for Africa. She currently sits on the boards of KCB Bank Group and Cytonn Investments.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, has invited to the entire university to a baraza on Wednesday, November 15 beginning at 12.30pm. The hour-long meeting in the auditorium will provide the university community with key findings of the institutional self-study report to be submitted to the WASC Senior College and University Commission in support of the re-affirmation of USIU-Africa’s accreditation, which began in January this year.

Accreditation is a process of external quality review which serves to assure students, parents, policymakers, the broader educational community, and the general public that an institution has met high standards of effectiveness. USIU-Africa is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) - one of seven regional accrediting agencies in the United States. A major benefit of USIU-Africa’s accreditation is that credits and degrees are recognized for purposes of employment and transfer or admission to other institutions in the United States. Significantly, USIU-Africa’s accreditation is a testament to the rigorous international quality standards the university has maintained since 2005.

Every six, eight, or ten years, institutions accredited by WSCUC are reviewed to reaffirm their accreditation status. The two- to three-year process of reaffirmation of accreditation usually involves the completion of an institutional self-study and institutional report, an off-site review by WSCUC, and an on-site visit from the WSCUC team. 

The meeting will also conclude by addressing the next steps in the process.