Arcadia University Fulbright Scholar Dr. Fredrick O. Wanyama Speaks on ‘Political Leadership and Development in East Africa,’ March 22
Glenside, PA –March 10, 2010—Arcadia University Fulbright Scholar Dr. Fredrick O. Wanyama, from Kenya, will deliver the visiting International Professor lecture on the topic of “Political Leadership and Development in East Africa” at Arcadia on Monday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Castle Mirror Room. Sponsored by the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program and the Political Science Department, the lecture is free and open to the public. Arcadia University is located at 450 S. Easton Road, Glenside, Pa.
Wanyama will discuss the effect of political leadership on the development process in East Africa. Focusing on Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, he will demonstrate that the pace of economic performance and the wider development process has tended to slacken with the degree of coercion exercised by the leaders. Thus, authoritarian, autocratic and tyrannical tendencies in political leadership have adversely affected the development process in this region.
“Though the promise of development was taken to heart in virtually all African countries at independence, it remains unfulfilled for the majority of the people,” says Wanyama. “One way of pulling the region out of the development malaise is to nurture the ongoing political reforms to bring about liberal-inclined leadership that allows people to express their aspirations and connect leadership positions with development needs of the people.”
Wanyama, a Senior Lecturer and Director of the School of Development and Strategic Studies at Maseno University in Maseno, Kenya, comes to Arcadia with extensive knowledge on how politics affect community-based organizations, including educational institutions. He is using this experience to provide Arcadia students with firsthand information on Kenya and East Africa.
At Arcadia, Wanyama is teaching Capacity Building and Human Rights, in conjunction with the International Peace and Conflict Resolution master’s program, and Development in East Africa in collaboration with the History and International Studies undergraduate programs. While here, he also is conducting individual research and writing, guest lecture as part of Arcadia’s Visiting International Professor series, and experiencing American and Philadelphian culture.
“I enjoy engaging in discussion with my students,” he says, noting that at Maseno University his classes range from 50 to 250 students, while at Arcadia he has twelve in one class and 15 in another. “With a smaller class, there’s more interaction and exchange between the professor and students. It’s nice to act as a guide and listen to students’ opinions.”
Wanyama holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in government from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and a doctorate in political science from Maseno University. As an undergraduate student, he wanted to work in government, but he changed his mind in graduate school.
“It’s more exciting to read theories and ideas and see how they are applied,” he says of his decision to pursue a career in academia.
In addition to teaching, Wanyama has contributed many chapters to academic books and journals and co-edited Cooperating out of Poverty: The Renaissance of the African Cooperative Movement. He also is a Fellow of the Five College African Scholars Program in Amherst, Massachusetts and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Higher Institute for Labour Studies (HIVA) of Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), Belgium. He has served as a consultant for the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
About Arcadia University: Arcadia University is a top-ranked private university in metropolitan Philadelphia and a national leader in study abroad, ranked #1 in undergraduate participation in study abroad (Open Doors 2009). Arcadia University promises a distinctively global, integrative and personal learning experience that prepares students to contribute and prosper in a diverse and dynamic world. U.S. News & World Report ranks Arcadia University among the top master’s universities in the North, as one of the top study abroad programs in the nation, and as a “top up-and-coming school.” The Physical Therapy program is ranked 7th in the nation.