SASS 2021 Conference

Bio for keynote speakers.

Biography (Abu Bah) 


Dr. Abu Bakarr Bah is a Professor of Sociology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) and Faculty Associate at the Center for Nonprofit & NGO Studies. He is the Coordinator of the Global Connections Pathway program at NIU. Bah is also Editor-in-Chief of African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review (ACPR) published by Indiana University Press and African Editor for Critical Sociology. He was also a Senior Fellow at the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Bah is a globally renowned scholar of peace and conflict.

Professor Bah’s research interests include peace and conflict, democracy, and development. His books include Post-Conflict Institutional Design: Peacebuilding and Democracy in Africa (Zed Books/University of Chicago Press, 2020), International Security and Peacebuilding: Africa, the Middle East, and Europe (Indiana University Press, 2017), Breakdown and Reconstitution: Democracy, the Nation-State, and Ethnicity in Nigeria (Lexington Books, 2005). His articles have been published in top journals such as African AffairsAdministrative Theory & Praxis, Journal of International PeacekeepingCritical SociologyInternational Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, Journal of Political and Military Sociology, and Africa Today.

Professor Bah is a recipient of the 2014 and 2016 Carnegie Foundation African Diaspora Fellowships, the 2012 Council of American Overseas Research Centers Multi-Country Research Fellowship, and the 2015 Northern Illinois University Outstanding International Educator Award. He has conducted research and worked with universities and research centers in Kenya, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Professor Bah is a frequent guest on international media programs such as Al Jazeera and China Radio International. He has been an invited speaker at major institutions such as Renmin University (China), Stanford University, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of South Florida, Virginia Commonwealth University, University of Nairobi, Laikipia University, United States Department of State, Global Center for Pluralism (Canada), and Social Science Research Council (New York). He has also served as a consultant to the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission and the PeaceNexus Foundation.

Professor Bah has served on the board of organizations such as the West African Research Association, the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation, and Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls in Kenya. 

Professor Bah is a citizen of the United States of America. He was born and raised in Sierra Leone. He received his doctoral degree from the New School for Social Research (New York) and an undergraduate degree from the University of Sofia in Bulgaria.

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Prof. Marion Mutugi, EBS 

Marion Wanjiku Mutugi graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland in 1994. The dynamic scholar, trainer, a manager who is widely published in her area of medical genetics and more recently bioethics has a personal motto; “What’s worth doing, is worth doing well”.  Her current focus is the ethical application of research findings and advances in science to end-users thus benefiting communities. 

Prof Mutugi who has worked in various public and private research institutions and universities is currently the Vice-Chancellor of Amref International University (AMIU); a Premier Pan-African University specialized in training, research, and extension in health Sciences.  She previously served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the Charge of Planning, Research, and Development at the University of Kabianga.  Prior to that, she was at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where among others she was the Director, Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ITROMID). In this latter position, she oversaw regional postgraduate training in Public Health, Clinical Medicine, Tropical Medicine, Epidemiology, and Molecular medicine. She is an accomplished trainer through whose hands many biomedical and health professionals in the region have passed. 

In addition, Prof Mutugi has been involved in many international and national government activities in various agencies, institutions, committees, and task forces. In 2011, the President of the Republic of Kenya awarded the mother of two adult children with the “Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (E.B.S.)” in recognition of her service to the Nation.……

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 Prof. Hassan O. Kaya Profile

Professor Hassan Omari Kaya is the Principal Researcher and Director of DSI (Department of Science and Innovation) – NRF (National Research Foundation) Centre in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (CIKS), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa.  Prior to his appointment as Research Leader and Director of CIKS, he was the initiator and coordinator of the IKS Teaching and Research Programme, at the North-West University (South Africa); coordinated the NEPAD Agency IKS (Indigenous Knowledge Systems) Regional Node for Southern Africa, encompassing 12 countries in the region; was a member of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) Preparatory (Content) Committee for COP 17 UN Conference on Climate Change (2011); the Research Leader of the IKS Signature Project at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is currently coordinating the establishment of the UNESCO Category 2 African Institute in Indigenous Knowledge Systems (AIIKS), a consortium of more than 20 African higher education and autonomous research institutions, with its hub at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Professor Kaya has widely published, presented IKS papers, and organized a substantial number of national and international workshops and conferences on IKS, within and outside South Africa, on IKS and sustainable development. 

Professor Kaya has a Ph.D. in Sociology of Development and International Political Economy (MAGNA CUM LAUDE) from Freie Universität Berlin, Germany; a Masters in Development Sociology from Freie Universität Berlin; M.A. in Sociology of Development from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and BA with Education (Hons) from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He has also a Post-Doctorate Certificate in International Agricultural Development (Rural Development) from the Centre for Advanced Training in Agricultural Development, Technical University, Berlin, Germany. Prof.  Kaya was the first Research Fellow at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Education, University of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam, South-East Asia (1995/96).

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 Prof. John Sorana Akama, PhD

Professor John Sorana Akama is the Vice chancellor of Kisii University. He is the founding Principal of the then Kisii University College which he led to formally acquiring a Charter in 2013 to become a full-fledged university.     Professor Akama has widely published, presented papers, and organized a substantial number of national and international workshops and conferences within and outside Africa, in diverse areas such as curriculum, tourism sociology, culture, and wildlife conservation.  Recently, Professor Akama was appointed as a member of the Inter-Public Universities Consultative Forum (IPUCCF) joint negotiating team in Kenya. He is also a celebrated author of various books among them Undeterred, A Rural Boy’s Journey to the Pinnacle of Academia, The Gusii of Kenya: Social, Economic, Cultural, Political and Judicial Perspectives, and The Untold Story: Gusii Survival Techniques and Resistance to Colonial Rule.

Prof. Akama did his undergraduate studies in education at the University of Nairobi. He then proceeded to the USA where he undertook Masters and PhD studies at Ohio State University and Southern Illinois University, respectively. On returning to Kenya he joined Moi University as a Lecturer and rose to the rank of Professor, teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.


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