Humanities Research Fellowship

The Humanities Research Fellowship offers postdoctoral research support to early-career scholars from eastern Africa. The Fellowship is a strong expression of BIEA’s commitment to the Nairobi Process and the encouragement of eastern African scholarship, as well as a clear signal of our championing of the value of humanities and social science research.

Under the supervision of the Country Director, the Fellow has since 2012 been convening the doctoral student peer support network, which brings a group of around 20 students together every week on Thursday to share ideas and experience.

Prince Guma, the Research Fellow/Assistant Country Director is an urban imaginer and research scientist. His research work is situated at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Urban Studies, and Postcolonial Studies. Since 2012, Prince has actively engaged in academic work from a broad range of settings and associations in the developing world. This work is located in the worlds of East African development, emerging from a career of multiple engagements, shaped by his belief in the entangled nature and interconnectedness of things beyond tangents, and in scholarship as being more than just a field of specialist audiences within the academy.

In his recent project, Prince has focused on exploring the multiple ways through which domains are constructed and reconstructed through the diffusion and uptake of digital technologies (focusing on energy, water, and ICT sectors) in the African city, under the department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. This project is titled ‘Rethinking Smart Urbanism: City-Making and the Spread of Digital Infrastructures in Nairobi.’

His latest research concerns the aspect of infrastructural vulnerabilities, inadequacies and absences in the poorest, smallest, and most fragile and volatile cities of the sub-Saharan African region. His findings are hoped to provide a menu for new explorations, enhance our understanding of urban and digital possibilities, and add new insights to debates on technology and urbanity in Eastern Africa.

During his years of broad practical and real work experience in the developmental sector and research track record and other related works and engagements in Eastern Africa and beyond, Prince has also worked with national and international NGOs, undertaking regional assignments and employing different research designs and methods to complete research projects. His work targets government initiatives and private projects, administrative and organizational development, and social equality and development. It contributes to innovative and policy-relevant scholarship in the humanities and social sciences by exploiting different avenues that challenge the ways in which we think about urban development and social change in and from Africa.

Beyond this work, Prince aims to enhance opportunities to young scholars and graduates by extending research platforms and programs in the Eastern African region and beyond.

Selected Publications


Guma, P.K. (2020). Incompleteness of urban infrastructures in transition – scenarios from the mobile age in Nairobi. Social Studies of Science

Guma, P.K. & Monstadt, J. (2020). Smart City Making? The Spread of ICT-Driven Plans and Infrastructures in Nairobi. Urban Geography, (23 p.). online first:


Guma, P.K. (2019). Smart urbanism? ICTs for water and electricity supply in Nairobi. Urban Studies, 56 (11), (pp. 2333-2352) (20 p.).

Guma, P.K., Monstadt, J. & Schramm, S. (2019). Hybrid constellations of water access in the digital age: the case of Jisomee Mita in Soweto-Kayole, Nairobi. Water Alternatives, 12 (2), (pp. 725-743).


Guma, P.K. (2016). The governance and politics of urban space in the postcolonial city – Kampala, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. African Review, 8 (1), (pp. 31-43) (13 p.).


Guma, P.K. (2015). Business in the urban informal economy – barriers to women’s entrepreneurship in Uganda. Journal of African Business, 16 (3), (pp. 305-321) (17 p.).

Guma, P.K. (2015). “Feminist solidarity: how women are shaping the way we think about sex and politics in Uganda.” Africa Review, 7(1): 15-27.


Guma, P.K. (2013). Public-sector reform, e-government and the search for excellence in Africa – Experiences from Uganda. Electronic Journal for E-Government [E], 11 (1), (pp. 240-251) (12 p.).

Professional publications


Guma, P.K. (2020). Localising the smart city? A view of urban plans and technologies in Nairobi. In Jochen Monstadt, Rémi de Bercegol & Bérénice Bon (Eds.), Translating the Networked City – Urban Infrastructures in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam Routledge.

Guma, P.K. (2020). A different kind of urban smartness? Infrastructure automation and access in Nairobi’s slum areas. The limits to growth of the smart city – Spaces and energies of digital infrastructures.


Guma, P.K. (14.07.2017). Civic governance, engagement, and protest in quest of democracy in Uganda. In Shamsul M. Haque, Anastase Shyaka & Gedeon M. Mudacumura (Eds.), Democratizing Public Governance in Developing Nations – With Special Reference to Africa (16 p.). London: Taylor & Francis.

Guma, P.K. 2017. “Feminism: How women in Uganda are shaping the way we think about sex and politics.” Research on Gender and Sexualities in Africa, CODESRIA.