Message From the Director - Prof. Charles Owuor Olunga

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The Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies (formerly Institute of African Studies), situated inside the National Museums of Kenya compound, is one of the oldest Institutes within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It started as a cultural division of the Institute for Development Studies in 1967. In 1970 the Institute became full fledged and moved to its current location inside the National Museums of Kenya compound. In addition, the Institute is the custodian of the historic Chiromo Mansion (which was declared a National Monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Act – Gazette Notice No. 1427 of 9th March 2001), where it houses its material culture section.

Since its inception, the Institute has expanded its academic programmes. Currently the following programmes are offered:

·        Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology

·        Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Development

·        Postgraduate Diploma in Gender and Development

·        Postgraduate Diploma in Care and Management of Heritage and Museum Collections

·        Postgraduate Diploma in Cultural Studies

·        Master of Arts Degree in Anthropology

·        Master of Arts Degree in Gender and Development

·        PhD programme.


1983 Bachelor of arts in Anthropology Programme launched

1986 Master of Arts  in Anthropology programme Launched

1986 Doctor of Philosophy programme Launched

2001 Bachelor of Arts in Gender and Development Studies launched

2001 Master of Arts in Gender and Development Studies launched

We are currently working on our latest programme which will receive initial support from the World Health Organization.

Faculty at the Institute are involved in various exciting research projects. Over the years we have been involved in research on documenting socio-cultural issues of Kenyan communities resulting in the "District Socio-Cultural Profile Publications." Other projects in which the Institute and faculty have been actively involved in include:

 The Kenya Danish Health Research Project (1993 to 2003) with financial support from DANIDA and involving DBL – Institute for Health Research and Development as its principle partner.

·        Reproductive Health of Needs of Men with financial support from USAID through Population Council.

·        Governance Project with financial support from UNDP.

·        Research Capacity Strengthening (RCSPlus) with financial support from World Health Organization.

·        Cystercercosis in Eastern and Southern Africa (CESA) Project with financial support from DANIDA.

·        REACT Project (2005 – 2010) with financial support from the European Union.

A full summary of the current projects and programmes at the Institute is given below.




Project title

Source of Funds

Principal Investigator

Brief Description of Project


Nyangoma Research Training Site

DBL-Institute for Health Research and Development, Denmark


The Nyang'oma site has been used for more than 13 years as a research training site for both Masters and Doctoral students. The collaboration between the Institute and its partner, the DBL-Institute for Health Research and Development is on-going.


Research Capacity Strengthening

World Health Organization - TDR

Prof. Isaac K. Nyamongo

This project is funded by the World Health Organization through the Research Capability Strengthening (RCSPlus). The aim is to enhance social science capacity within the medical profession.


ReACT Project

European Union

IAS (Principal persons in the project are: Prof. Isaac K. Nyamongo, Dr. W. Onyango-Ouma)

The 5-year project aims to contribute to our understanding on health care systems using new approaches (Accountability for Reasonableness). It is a multi-country project involving different institutions. Collaborating partners include DBL-Institute for Health Research and Development in Denmark, KEMRI, IDS-University of Dar es Salaam, Medical Research Center-Tanzania, Dept. of Community Health, University of Zambia, University of Bergen.


IUCEA Project


Dr. Wilfred Keraka Subbo

This is a multi-country project involving Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania with. The project focuses on the role played by women in managing the environment. Overall coordination of the project has been given to Dr. Subbo at the Institute.


OSSREA Project

OSSREA, Addis Ababa

Prof. Isaac K. Nyamongo

The focus of this study is to establish the socio-economic impact of TB on household against the backdrop of HIV/AIDS in Nyanza.


Gender Lecture Series


IAS. The principal persons Dr. W. Onyango-Ouma, Dr. C. O. Olungah, Ms. S. Bukachi, D. Shilabuka & J. Siso

The purpose of this grant is to enable the Institute organize a series of lectures on Gender and governance at the University of Nairobi. The aim is to give prominence to gender issues at the University of Nairobi.


CESA Project


IAS. The principal contact person is Prof. Isaac K. Nyamongo

Cross-Cultural Risk Assessment of Taenia solium, Cysticercosis in Eastern and Southern Africa (CESA) project is funded by DANIDA. The 3 year project aims to increase the knowledge and awareness of Cysticercosis as well as provide an important evidence-base for making appropriate and relevant policies concerning sustainable pork production in the region. Field work will be done in partner countries—Tanzania & Mozambique—in collaboration with universities in Kenya, Zambia and South Africa. In Kenya, the Institute is providing graduate training for students on this project from the region.


Governance Project


Prof. Collette Suda

The project investigates the role of traditional governance structures in conflict resolution. The project contributes to our understanding of persistent conflicts in the region.


 These projects have resulted in numerous publications in peer refereed academic journals. Within the Institute, we publish Mila as a vehicle for communicating with peers. For more details about the Mila Journal please visit our website.

We have established active collaboration and links with various institutions to enhance our own research and training. We have current active links with The Danish Bilharziasis Laboratories – Institute for Health Research and Development, Denmark; University of Kyoto; The African Studies Consortium (Byrn Mawr, Haverford, Swathmore and University of Pennsylvania).

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies.

Directors of the Institute since inception

1970 – 1975                             Prof. Bethuel Ogot

1975 – 1978                             Mr. George Mathu

1978 – 1983                             Dr. Benjamin Kipkorir

1983 – 1986                             Dr. Chris Wanjala

1986 – 1991                             Prof. Gideon S. Were

1991 – 1999                             Prof. Simiyu Wandibba

1999 – 2002                             Prof. Collette Suda

2002 – 2014                             Prof. Isaac K. Nyamongo

2014 (3rd march) - present     Prof.  Charles Owuor Olungah


Message from Director.pdf20.26 KB

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