Category: Announcements

Call for Papers: BIEA 2021 Annual Conference

The British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) is pleased to announce a new annual conference. The 2021 Annual Conference will take place digitally over four afternoons in late 2021 (15.00-18.00 EAT on Wed 17 November, 24 November, 1 December and 8 December) and will discuss the latest cutting-edge research. We welcome papers in the humanities and social sciences on any part of the African continent that speak to the Institute’s core research themes of retelling the past, changing environments, urban lives, technologies of politics, next generations, and epidemics, pandemics and epizootics. We welcome papers by those who have previously received support from the BIEA, as well as from those who are new to the Institute. Early career academics are encouraged to participate. If you would like to present a paper please submit a title, abstract (300-500 words), short bio (maximum 200 words), and a note on any of the scheduled dates or times that you would not be able to present to [email protected] by Friday 30 July 2021. All presenters will be given approximately 15 minutes to discuss their paper.

Open Call 2021: Documentary Heritage


First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat


The Prince Claus Fund, through its Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme and the Whiting Foundation announce a fourth cycle of the Open Call for First Aid to Documentary Heritage under Threat. We invite proposals for projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean to safeguard documentary heritage.

What’s at stake

“Documentary heritage” includes objects designed to carry information in writing, such as books, archives, manuscripts, tablets, carvings or inscriptions. These written records are sometimes the local stakeholder’s only surviving tangible connection to their past. Whether etched onto tombstones, drawn onto cave walls, or painted onto parchment these documentary records hold a wealth of information that once lost would be irretrievable. Owing to the effects of time they are incredibly fragile, susceptible to fire, insects, and the effects of our acute climate crisis. They are also sometimes singled out for deliberate destruction by those afraid of their potential to resist narratives that seek to exclude and marginalise. In the face of an interruption – whether natural or man-made, local actors need support to make sure their critical heritage is not lost forever more on how to Apply (Click here)

Community Heritage for Education Sustainability in Tanzania [CHEST] project

The Community Heritage for Education Sustainability in Tanzania [CHEST] project, with P.I. Paul Lane, has a team of heritage educators working in Pangani, Tanzania over the next 3 weeks, building on work initiated during the AHRC-funded CONCH project

Site-specific education material has been created and developed by ArchaeoLink in collaboration with the Archaeology and Education departments of the University of Dar es Salaam [UDSM] and 7 schools in the area.

The material is based on the archaeology, history and cultural heritage of the area and includes a game to assist in the development of critical thinking skills in children. Accompanied by a group of student teachers from UDSM the material will be delivered, through induction sessions at each school and at the Cultural Centre in Pangani.

You are welcome to see progress and participate through comments by
on Twitter @ArchaeoLink
on Instagram @Images.ArchaeoLink

CHEST has received grants from Research England GCRF QR Fund and the University of Cambridge Arts and Humanities Impact Fund.

The Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship programme

The fellowship programme is based at Durham University and managed by an international Advisory Panel comprising academic subject specialists. The programme began in 2019 with the residency of the first fellow Dr Pascale Ghazaleh of the American University in Cairo: her inaugural lecture is now  available online. More fellowships will be awarded over the next 5 years. An Advisory Panel, chaired by  Professor Anoush Ehteshami, Director of the  Institute for Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, will appoint one or two fellows each year.

Fellows will be early career (post-doctoral) or established scholars. The nature of the collection will often require good reading knowledge of Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, French, and English. The  online catalogue of the collection indicates the languages of each file of material.

The Fellowship, tenable jointly in IMEIS and Grey College, entitles the holder to full access during their residency to departmental and other University facilities such as Computing and Information Services and the University Library. Accommodation is provided at Durham during the Epiphany term (January-March), but there is flexibility to arrange residencies in different terms to suit fellows’ availability, and fellows may be permitted to reside in Cairo or Istanbul for the duration of the fellowship where digitised copies of the archive have been deposited. All fellows will visit Durham, if only briefly, in order to deliver their lecture. Lectures and other activities elsewhere during the fellowship will be encouraged.

Fellows who do reside at Durham will also be encouraged to take a full part in academic and collegiate life, delivering the already mentioned lecture and perhaps also contributing to seminars.

Fellows will be awarded an honorarium upon completion of their fellowship, and accommodation and all meals will be provided for the duration of the fellowship; a research travel grant is also available to each fellow.

Applicants are advised to familiarise themselves with the  online catalogue of the Abbas Hilmi II Papers, or the collection itself, and to review the full  Call for Applications and the Chapter Outline of the edited volume that is provided. More detailed information on the fellowship programme is also provided with the Call.

This call is now open, and applications should be submitted by 30 September 2019, preferably by email, to the Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship Programme at the address provided. Applicants should include a CV (of no more than 2 pages), a two to three-page outline of their proposed research and contact details for two referees, and send this information to:

The Secretary

The Mohamed Ali Foundation Fellowship Programme

Durham University Library

Palace Green

Durham DH1 3RN

United Kingdom

Email: [email protected]

New Regimes of Recognition and Distribution?: Identity Politics in Post-2010 Kenya

Symposium Call for Contributions

Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November 2019, British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi

This symposium seeks to bring academic, government, civil society and community groups into conversation with each-other about emerging dynamics of recognition and distribution in Kenya. We will explore questions such as:

  • What do ‘recognition’ and ‘distribution’ mean to minority and marginalised groups and communities?
  • What kinds of identity categories provide a useful basis for making claims on the state? Why these categories?
  • What forms of recognition are significant in Kenya today? What are the processes for claiming recognition? What are the consequences or implications of being recognised, or not recognised?
  • How are the state’s resources being distributed under devolution (in theory and in practice)?
  • What are the major sites of conflict, disagreement or contestation around recognition and distribution? How are different identity groups engaging in these contests?
  • What is the link between recognition and distribution?
  • What challenges lie ahead for achieving justice and equality in recognition and distribution?
  • What is the role of the various government commissions (e.g. National Cohesion and Integration Commission, National Gender and Equality Commission and so on) in responding to these challenges?
  • What is the role of civil society groups in responding to these challenges?
  • To what extent can academic theories around the politics of recognition help us make sense of contemporary dynamics in Kenya? What other theories can advance our thinking?

Want to participate?

If you would like to take part in this symposium, please complete the Expression of Interest form HERE and email it to [email protected] or WhatsApp a photo to +61 456 013 906.

More on how to Apply, click here

Home Office Visa service discriminating against Africans

“Home Office data on visa refusals shows that African applicants are more than twice as likely to be refused a UK visa than applicants from any other part of the world.  The UK has good relations with most African countries, but it needs to be recognised that no single issue does more damage to the image or influence of the UK in Africa than this visa question.”

After 6 months of evidence gathering, a parliamentary report, published on 16th July by the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) for Africa, for Malawi and for Diaspora, Development and Migration found the UK visit visa system was not currently fit for purpose, being inaccessible to many Africans, under resourced, unaccountable and widely perceived as biased or even discriminating against Africans.

The report identifies several specific challenges faced by Africans in applying for visas to the UK, including;

  • A centralised application system that requires many applicants to travel hundreds, even thousands of miles simply to apply for a visa.
  • Weak quality control and lack of oversight leading to erroneous, careless and sometimes offensive decisions.
  • Perceived lack of procedural fairness: in many cases additional documentation and evidence is requested over and above that specified in the guidelines, but even then some decisions seem to be arbitrary and illogical.
  • Financial discrimination in decision-making:  many applications are rejected because the applicant has little money, even though all costs have been guaranteed by a sponsoring third party.
  • No right of appeal, requiring expensive re-application to correct a mistaken decision.

Chi Onwurah MP, Chair of the APPG for Africa states: “at a time when the UK needs to be ‘open for business’, the broken visas system is doing severe damage to UK-Africa relations across a variety of sectors. As well as our relations, it damages our economy and society. It is embarrassing, patronising and insulting to African applicants and leaves the slogan of “Global Britain” empty and meaningless.”

The report identifies the real costs to British business, academia, arts and culture from the current dysfunctional system, and puts forward a series of achievable recommendations to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to help them respond to concerns raised by the findings. These include the following:

  1. Expedited application processes for those applicants who currently have to travel to a neighbouring country to apply and/or be interviewed for a visa.
  2. Clearer information to visa applicants on visa application processes and requirements, especially in terms of supporting documents that must be submitted by the applicant.
  3. Where decision-making is fully digitized, ensure documents are scanned in the country of application.
  4. Opening more Visa Application Centres (VACs) in countries where they are not currently sited.

An embargoed copy of the report is available online  here.

For more information please contact Henrietta Bailey on [email protected]

Available: The 2017 Elections Special Issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies


This article asks what Kenya’s 2017 general elections tell us about the capacity of a new constitution to reduce the stakes of political competition and prospects of political instability. Three constitutional changes are particularly important: the adoption of a 50% + 1 threshold for the presidential election; the devolution of power to 47 county governments; and the introduction of a Supreme Court with the right to hear presidential electoral petitions. We find that the impact of the 2010 constitution has been mixed. The 50% plus 1 threshold encouraged coalition formation, but this dynamic has long been evident. Devolution has given a wider set of Kenyans a stake in the system, but has also created new structures that can be used to channel dissent against state. The Supreme Court demonstrated its capacity to as an independent institution, but did little to sustain electoral legitimacy. Indeed, while the 2010 constitution has clearly reshaped the political landscape, it was a personal deal that ended the post- election impasse. The elections therefore demonstrate how formal institutions alone cannot change political logics and reveal the continued significance of individual politicians and informal institutions that may compete with or complement their formal counterparts.

Has Kenya changed? The 2017elections and the impact of constitutional reform.


  • Kenya’s 2017 elections: winner-takes-all politics as usual?, Nic Cheeseman, Karuti Kanyinga, Gabrielle Lynch, Mutuma Ruteere and Justin Willis
  • Judicialisation of politics and Kenya’s 2017 elections, Karuti Kanyinga and Collins Odote
  • Violence, security and the policing of Kenya’s 2017 elections, Patrick Mutahi and Mutuma Ruteere
  • Treacherous coattails: gubernatorial endorsements and the presidential race in Kenya’s 2017 election, Elena Gadjanova
  • Intensified local grievances, enduring national control: the politics of land in the 2017Kenyan elections, Michelle D’Arcy and Marina Nistotskaya
  • Women’s political inclusion in Kenya’s devolved political system, Yolande Bouka, Marie E. Berry and Marilyn Muthoni Kamuru
  • Support or subvert? Assessing devolution’s effect on central power during Kenya’s 2017 presidential rerun, Hannah Waddilove
  • The Buffalo and the Squirrel: moral authority and the linitsof patronage in Kiambu County’s 2017 gubernatorial race, Peter Lockwood

Available Here


1st Call For Applications: BIEA Thematic Research Grants

Every year the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) invites applications for our small Thematic Research Grants. These funds are usually dispersed through two calls for applications per year, usually released in June/July and December. This is the first call for applications in the 2019-2020 year. Please pay attention to this webpage in December 2019 for the second 2019/20 grant call deadline information.

The British Institute in Eastern Africa invites applications for funding for research projects that engage with one or more of the following thematic areas:

  1. Citizens and Science in Eastern Africa
  2. Migrations and Mobilities
  3. Everyday States
  4. Land, Heritage ad Memory
  5. Spending Time

BIEA research funding is available to support original research within these thematic areas in any discipline in the humanities and social sciences across the region. The BIEA’s thematic grant scheme particularly seeks to help researchers who have limited access to other sources of funds. In doing so, the BIEA seeks to nurture early career researchers and scholars in eastern Africa, and is keen to fund small projects that lay the ground for larger projects.  Such researchers may include postgraduate students in eastern African or the UK, or people who have not followed conventional research careers but whose local knowledge or contacts make them well-fitted to conduct quality research.

This funding supports original research in the humanities and social sciences, and we particularly encourage applications from the wider eastern African region, which we define as stretching from Sudan, to Mozambique, and including Madagascar. Grants are normally between £500 and £1,000; in exceptional circumstances, up to £1,500 may be awarded. The grant should contribute towards actual research costs and not include institutional overheads, equipment, and applicant’s stipend or publication costs. Priority is given to researchers based in the UK or eastern Africa.

All applications and references must be submitted by email to  [email protected]  by 15th of July 2019.

Late applications will not be considered. Please Complete the Application Form (downloadable here).

BIEA’s research funding is competitive, and we can only fund a limited number of applicants. Your application must make a clear and compelling case for why we should support your proposed research. It is a condition for the investigator to provide BIEA with written documentation that the research has been approved through ethical review prior to receiving the grant. Applications should include:

  • a covering letter making your case for a grant and explaining the background to your project;
  • a CV;
  • a completed application form;
  • a detailed proposal (maximum 1500 words) setting out how the project fits into the thematic area;
  • a clear and realistic budget detailing how you will use the amount requested;
  • a plan for dissemination – PhD thesis, journal article, conference papers, etc (BIEA will not fund research if there is no prospect that anyone will ever hear about the results).

You will need to arrange for a reference to be sent directly to BIEA by the closing date. The referee must support you and endorse the project in your application. For postgraduate students, your referee must be your supervisor.

Successful applicants will be informed within one month of the closing date. If you have not heard from us by then, please assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion.

If you are successful in your grant application, you must be a member of the BIEA to receive your award.

For more information on the grants, see  guidelines for applying.



Job Opportunity: ICCROM Paid Internship

Young Professional to support Africa Programme “Changing the Face of Heritage and Conservation in Africa” (Paid internship)

Date and duration: as soon as May 2019, and until 31 December 2019 (6-8 months)

The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) is an intergovernmental agency which receives its funding from 136 Member States as well as private foundations, corporations and individuals. ICCROM deals with cultural heritage conservation issues, including World Heritage, disaster risk management, sustainable development, and integrated approaches to conservation of cultural and natural heritage. ICCROM usesits unparalleled global network in training and other technical cooperation programmes worldwide.

Over the past 30 years, ICCROM has designed and implemented pioneering programmes for heritage conservation for museums and sites in Africa. ICCROM Strategy 2018-2023 sets ambitious targets for further expanding ICCROM’s role in Africa through training, research and policy formulation. This will entail implementation and delivery of practical conservation training and technical cooperation projects in partnerships with African institutions, UNESCO and others.

In the context of these specific goals, ICCROM offers an internship for the Africa Programme who will assist the program manager in the development of fresh approaches, bringing innovation to ICCROM’s involvement in the conservation of the heritage in Africa. The critical area for focus is how conservation of African cultural heritage can incorporate ideas emerging from the UN (Agenda 2030) and the African Union (Agenda 2063 “The Africa we want”). The program will focus on the current trends- in particular, economic growth, employment opportunities and social cohesion

The intern will bring the youth perspective and relevant skills in supporting successful strategy design and planning, and will also possess a good understanding of cultural heritage issues in Africa. S/he will be a creative collaborator in the design of the strategy and high-impact projects and initiatives.


Under the authority and the direct supervision of the Program Manager, the Africa Programme Intern will contribute to designing the new ICCROM strategy for Africa, ensuring alignment of the strategy with the various programme and partnership development efforts. S/He will also assist spearhead innovative initiatives to deepen public and private donor engagement and leverage existing and new resources for maximum impact in Africa.

More specifically, the Africa Programme Intern will:

  • Undertake background research and collection of baseline data relevant to the various activities proposed
  • Assist with liaison with implementation partners to produce the final detailed concept notes for the proposed activities
  • Assist closely resource mobilization and fundraising matters, preparing donor’s profiles, following up on contact established by the Director General and the Resource Mobilization officer, preparing the information requested by donors and any other tasks aimed at achieving programme-specific fundraising goals;
  • Assist in drafting presentation materials on the Programme for ICCROM delivery at key events, meetings and other external fora;
  • Ensure that all writing produced is technically and intellectually sound, clear and objective in accordance with high standards of quality and in line with the Organization’s mandate and vision;
  • Perform other tasks as required.


  • Be a national of an African Member-State of ICCROM
  • Bachelor’s or higher degree in any field relevant to the mission and work of ICCROM
  • Technical experience  and demonstrated research and writing skills
  • Good communication and organizational skills
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Have an excellent command of English, both written and verbal, preferred also with fluency in French
  • Be under the age of 35 by the closing of the application period
  • Ability to multi-task and manage competing priorities

Please send your application consisting of a brief statement (explaining your vision, skills and relevance for this project) and a resume to [email protected]