OeAD Country Talk Kenya, 18 September

5. September 2023 EntwicklungsforschungForscher/innen
Schoolbus in Kenia
Join us at the event on 18 September 2023 to learn more about the culture and the higher education system of Kenya and university cooperations.

The OeAD Country Talks aim to introduce countries or regions of the world that may not be known in Austria as typical partner destinations for university collaboration. They are home to OeAD scholars, alumni and project partners and will be presented to a wider audience.

In September 2023, we invite you to learn more about the culture and the higher education system of Kenya. As a former partner country of the Austrian Development Cooperation, projects in the field of higher education and development such as the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR) and the International Post-Graduate Education & Research Hub in Limnology (IPGL) will be presented. In addition, the Austrian-African Research Network (Africa-UniNet) and Erasmus+ cooperation between Kenya and Austria will also be described.

The event will be concluded with networking and Kenyan food. Photographs by Nina Zuckerstätter of Egerton University where the Africa-UniNet General Assembly was held and Kenya’s fascinating landscapes and national parks complement the Country Talk.


When: Monday, 18 September 2023, 17:00-20:00

Where: OeAD, Ebendorferstraße 7, 1010 Vienna

Please register for the event here



Moderated by Stella Asiimwe, Weltmusem Wien

  • Welcome by Gerhard Volz, Head International Cooperation in Higher Education, OeAD
  • Welcome address by H.E. Ambassador Mary Mugwanja, Permanent Representative/Head of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Kenya
  • Short introduction to Kenya and the university system by Dr. Felicia Yieke, Full Professor of Applied Linguistics at Laikipia University, Kenya
  • Poetry Slam in Swahili by Mfilinge Pascal Nyalusi
  • Facts and figures on higher education cooperation between Kenya and Austria and the role of OeAD by Gerhard Volz, OeAD
  • Water-energy-food security nexus through research and training in East Africa by Dr. Luke Omondi Olang, Director of the Centre for Integrated Water Resource Management at the Technical University of Kenya
  • Experiences from Africa-UniNet and information about the partnership between Egerton University-Kenya and BOKU by Dr. Nzula Kitaka, Associate Professor of Aquatic/Water Science, Egerton University, Kenya and Vice-president of Africa-UniNet
  • Erasmus+ project between University of Vienna and Moi University by Franz Stefan Michalke, Head of Team International Cooperation, University of Vienna
  • Round table for questions and discussion
  • Socialising and networking over drinks and Kenyan food



Mary Wangui Mugwanja was effectively accredited as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kenya to the Republic of Austria in November, 2022. Before arriving in Austria, Her Excellency the Ambassador held various positions of prominence in the Kenyan government and banking sector in an illustrious career spanning over 30 years. From November 2007 to July 2022, Mary Mugwanja served the Nyandarua County Government in successive roles as County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Finance and Economic Development, and as County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in charge of Transport, Energy and Public Works. Prior to taking up high-ranking roles in the Nyandarua County Government she had extensive experience in top positions in the banking sector in Kenya. H.E. Ambassador Mary Mugwanja holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Leadership and Management from Strathmore University in Nairobi, as well as several professional qualifications and certifications in the field of leadership and management.

Nzula Kitaka is an Associate Professor and Researcher of Aquatic/Water Sciences at Egerton University, Kenya. She is currently the Vice President and Egerton University representative of Africa-UniNet; a research consortium of African and Austrian universities. Prof Kitaka has been involved in the establishment of a major regional training programme for water scientists and managers. This course evolved as Limnology of Wetland Ecosystems (LWE) from 2009 to a Joint Degree in Limnology and Wetland Management (LWM) from 2012 to date in Partnership between Egerton University-Kenya, BOKU, Austria and IHE-Delft, The Netherlands. Prof. Kitaka also played a key role in initiating a joint master’s programme in Aquatic Ecosystem and Environment Management (AEEM) between Addis Ababa University, Bahir Dar University both in Ethiopia and Egerton University, Kenya, funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC). Prof. Kitaka is a founding council member of the Eastern Africa - Austrian Water Association (EAAWA) and has served on several international and national advisory boards and steering committees.

Franz Stefan Michalke heads the International Cooperation Team at the International Office of the University of Vienna. He is also the overall coordinator of CENTRAL, UniNets and Staff Mobility; International Cooperation with Europe, West Asia, Post-Soviet States and Africa; Strategic Partnership with the Hebrew University.

Mfilinge Pascal Nyalusi teaches Swahili conversation at the Institute of African Studies, University of Vienna. He is also a member of the Vienna African Writers Club. In 2018, he published the poetry collection "The Fuss.", which explores how different societies live together and react to each other.

Luke Omondi Olang is Professor of Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering at the Technical University of Kenya (TU-Kenya). His teaching and research explores hydrological variability within coupled terrestrial water systems, including the interface with anthropogenic impacts, within the coupled hydro-geo-chemical cycles that often lead to changes in land use and climatic regimes. Central to his research are studies of floods and droughts, the hydrological processes with significant implications for water and food security in Africa. Prof. Olang received his PhD from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna, Austria, and has been involved in several research projects  with his former host university. Since then, he has collaborated with several universities around the world, including Princeton University (USA), the University of Southampton (UK) and the University of Western Cape (SA). He is currently the Director of the Centre for Integrated Water Resources Management at the TU Kenya.

Gerhard Volz has an academic background in Political Science, History and Educational Sciences and has worked for the OeAD since 1998. He was initially responsible for higher education cooperation programmes and funding schemes for various regions, such as Central and Eastern Europe as well as development cooperation programmes worldwide, before moving to European programmes in 2004. Between 2007 and 2020, he was Head of Sector for Erasmus+ Higher Education before being appointed Head of Department for International Cooperation in Higher Education in 2020 – thus being responsible for national and European funding schemes in higher education worldwide, cooperation with national and international stakeholders, as well as for initiatives such as Study in Austria, Euraxess and many others.

Felicia Arudo Yieke is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Laikipia. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Vienna, Austria. She currently teaches in the Department of Literary and Communication Studies at the Laikipia University, Kenya. Prof. Yieke has been the Director of the Graduate School since August 2019. Prior to this appointment, she was the founding Dean of the School of Humanities and Development Studies, a position she held for eight years. In 2022, she was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic, Research and Student Affairs, a position she held for one year. Her research interests are in sociolinguistics and discourse analysis. She also teaches human rights, communication in leadership and management, ethics and research methods. An active and prolific writer, she has published over 43 book chapters and articles in national and international peer-reviewed journals. She has also served as editor and reviewer for renowned publishers around the world. Prof. Yieke is trained in quality management systems in higher education and is also an expert in curriculum development for university programmes.



Photo Exhibition

From the vibrant atmosphere of the 2nd Africa-UniNet General Assembly to the tranquility of Kenya's national parks - this exhibition complements the OeAD Country Talk Kenya with photographs of strong Austrian-Kenyan partnerships in higher education and research, the fertile grounds of Egerton University where the General Assembly was held, and Kenya's fascinating landscapes and national parks.

Nina Zuckerstätter is a professional photographer and former Programme Officer for the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR). She studied Development Studies at the University of Vienna, Socioeconomics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and attended a school for photography. Nina Zuckerstätter joined the 2nd Africa-UniNet General Assembly hosted by Egerton University in Kenya, where she served as photographer for this event. The exhibition at the OeAD Country Talk Kenya presents her work, originating from her time in Kenya in October 2022.