Current Directors and Trustees

Honorary Officers

Professor Justin Willis

President

Justin is Professor in History at Durham University in the UK. His involvement with BIEA goes back to 1986, when he was a graduate attachee; he has subsequently served as assistant director, honorary treasurer, director, and vice-president for research.  Justin’s work has largely been concerned with questions of identity and moral authority in eastern Africa in the last two centuries.  He is the author of Mombasa, the Swahili and the Making of the Mijikenda (Oxford, 1993); Potent Brews: A Social History of Alcohol in East Africa (Nairobi and Oxford, 2002); and (with Nic Cheeseman and Gabrielle Lynch) The Moral Economy of Elections in Africa: Democracy, Voting and Virtue (Cambridge, 2021). He was one of the editors of The Sudan Handbook (2011).

Professor Gabrielle lynch

Vice President for Research

Gabrielle Lynch is a Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Warwick. She is the author of over 30 articles and book chapters, and author or editor of five books, including I Say to You: Ethnic Politics and the Kalenjin in Kenya (University of Chicago Press, 2011) and Performances of Injustice: The Politics of Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in Kenya (Cambridge University Press, 2018). She is the Deputy Chair of the Review of African Political Economy, and wrote a regular column in Kenya’s Saturday Nation (2014-2018) and The East African (2015-2017). Gabrielle participated in the BIEA graduate attachment scheme in 2003, joined the BIEA Council as an elected member in 2010, and was appointed Vice President/Research in 2019. 

Rt hon Mr Mark Simmonds

Vice President for External Relations and Development

Rt Hon Mark Simmonds was The Foreign & Commonwealth office Minister with responsibilities for Africa, the Caribbean, UK Overseas Territories, International Energy and Conflict Prevention. He served as a Member of the UK Parliament for 14 years.  He was also a Senior Advisor to The Prime Minister David Cameron. He focussed on driving and facilitating inward investment into Africa and the Commonwealth across a range of key economic sectors including Hydrocarbons, Financial Services, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Energy & Agriculture. He has a huge knowledge of the economic and political composition of African Governments, countries and regions.  He Chaired the UN Security Council on two occasions. He is Chairman of Africa Oil Week “The Davos of Africa’s Hydrocarbon Industry” the link between African Governments and the Private Sector.  He also Chairs the African Oil Week Advisory Board. He is additionally involved in clean technology for the agriculture, healthcare, transport, energy & extractive sectors. He now has several international roles.  Including Senior Advisor to International Investigation Firm, Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Global Investment platform, Invest Africa, Senior Advisor to a Global Multi-Strategy Hedge Fund, and Senior Advisor to a large UK based Family Office.  Advisor to a Large US Private Equity Firm & Advisory Board Member of the Commonwealth Investment Council. He also has roles with not-for-profit organisations, including as Honorary Vice President of Flora & Fauna International.  He is a Trustee of the British Institute in East Africa and Board Member of Engender Health. He is a Member of her Majesty’s Privy Council. Mark is married with three children.

Mr Robert Tench

Treasurer

Robert is a retired accountant who lives in London. He spent the larger part of his career in a variety of finance roles with Xerox Europe and subsequently 15 years as Finance Director of the international classical musicians’ agency, Intermusica.

Professor Peter Mitchell fsa

Secretary

Peter Mitchell studied Archaeology & Anthropology at Cambridge and then took his doctorate in Archaeology from Oxford, focusing on the late Pleistocene Later Stone Age of southern Africa. After stints at Cape Town and in Wales, he returned to Oxford in 1995 where he is Professor of African Archaeology and Tutor in Archaeology at St Hugh’s College. He has directed several projects in Lesotho, including the Metolong Cultural Heritage Management Project (2008–12). He has been a member of the Governing Council of the British Institute in Eastern Africa since 2000, served as President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists from 2004 to 2006, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and co-edits Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa. He has written widely on African archaeology (The Archaeology of Southern Africa, CUP 2002; African Connections: Archaeological Perspectives on Africa and the Wider World, AltaMira Press 2005; The First Africans: African Archaeology from the Earliest Toolmakers to Most Recent Foragers, CUP 2008, with Larry Barham) and edited the Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology with Paul Lane (OUP 2013). More recent books include Horse Nations, a survey of post-Columbian equestrian adaptations in the Americas, southern Africa and Australasia, (OUP 2015) and The Donkey in Human History (OUP 2018).

Current Directors and Trustees

Dr Ceri Ashley

Ceri is Head of the Endangered Material Knowledge Programme at the British Museum (www.emkp.org) and Professor of Cultural Heritage at Nottingham Trent University. She did her PhD in archaeology at UCL examining the transition to farming in the Great Lakes region, and has led excavations in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana and South Africa. Ceri’s research focuses on material culture and social value, and how historical and political context shapes research.

Dr Adam Branch

Adam Branch is Reader in International Politics and the Director of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge. He received his PhD in political science from Columbia University and his BA from Harvard University. Prior to joining Cambridge, he was Senior Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala. Adam’s research broadly examines the politics of global justice interventions, in particular peacebuilding, international criminal law, and now sustainable energy and climate change mitigation, all with a regional focus on East Africa. He is author of two books, Displacing Human Rights and Africa Uprising: Popular Protest and Political Change (with Zachariah Mampilly). His research has been funded by the AHRC, GCRF, and the British Academy, and he is a series editor for African Arguments.

Dr Reginald Cline-Cole

Dr Matthew Davies

My research explores issues around prosperity, society and the environment. I am especially interested in the management of landscapes, ecological diversity, climate, and questions of sustainability, resilience and regeneration. Most of my work has focussed on agricultural systems in Eastern Africa and has examined community practice and knowledge both historically and anthropologically, often employing a perspective known as historical ecology. Much of this work aims to facilitate processes of co-design to reshape practice and policy. At IGP I head-up a growing portfolio of research under the framework of Prosperity Co-Lab Kenya and as part of the wider IGP community I am developing work on prosperity metrics and on questions around ‘Natural Prosperity’. 

I have previously undertaken a range of work on the deeper archaeology and heritage of Eastern Africa and have written widely on the Later Iron Age of the region, monumentality, historical and contemporary archaeology, and the archaeology of South Sudan. Before joining IGP I was lecturer in African Studies at UCL, Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Cambridge and Assistant Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa. I have held several editorial and examiner roles, and positions on academic bodies. 

I currently Lead the Taught Teaching programmes at IGP and am the Programme Lead for the MSc in Global Prosperity. I am Departmental Graduate Tutor (taught) and Chair of the Built Environment Faculty Examination Board. I supervise multiple PhD and MSc students. Please see my IRIS profile for further information. 

Professor Emma Hunter

I am Professor of Global and African History at the University of Edinburgh. My research focuses on the intellectual, political and cultural history of eastern Africa. 

Sir Jeffrey James kbe cmg

Kenya Board Vice Chair

Sir Jeffrey James was the British High Commissioner to Kenya from mid-1997 to the end of 2001. As a career diplomat, he also served in South Africa in 1986-88, with other overseas postings in Afghanistan, India and Iran.

Since his retirement in 2001, he has maintained a keen interest in Kenya and East Africa more generally and has been a frequent visitor to Nairobi. He joined the Governing Council of the BIEA in London in 2012 and was nominated by the Council to become the first Treasurer of BIEA Kenya. He was on the Governing Council of Keele University for eight years which introduced him to the importance of the contemporary research agenda. He is also a Director of the Eastern Africa Association which represents investors in the region.

Dr George Haandishe Karekwaivanane

George is a lecturer in the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh and currently serves as an editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies. One of George’s key research interests is exploring the ways that law and legal struggles can be used to shed light on social and political processes in African history. His monograph entitled The Struggle over State Power in Zimbabwe: Law and Politics Since 1950, examines how law was deployed in the constitution and contestation of state power and legitimacy in Zimbabwe between 1950 and 2008.  His current research examines the history of activist lawyers in Zimbabwe between 1950 and 2010.  It pays attention to lawyers’ roles as legal intermediaries, public intellectuals, politicians, and ‘cultural entrepreneurs’.  George’s second research interest is investigating the diverse ways that digital media is reshaping social, political and economic life in Africa.  He and colleagues at the University of Cambridge produced a Special Issue entitled Publics in Africa in a Digital Age that was published in the Journal of East African Studies. The collection of articles explores the diverse ways that digital media has been used to convoke publics and counterpublics in Africa.

Professor Paul Lane

Paul Lane is the Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer Professor of the Deep History & Archaeology of Africa, at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. His main research interests encompass the historical and maritime archaeology of eastern and southern Africa, and the transition to farming in these same regions. While Director of the BIEA, he carried out his own research on the transition from hunting and gathering to farming in northern Nyanza Province, Kenya and on the historical archaeology of Luo settlement in the same area.

He also collaborated with Dr Bertram Mapunda (Archaeology Unit, University of Dar es Salaam), on the causes and origins of soil erosion in the Kondoa District of north-central Tanzania, and worked with Dr Kennedy Mutundu (Kenyatta University), Dr Robert Payton (University of Newcastle), Professor David Taylor (Trinity College Dublin), Dr Carolyn Thorp (Witwatersrand University) and Dr Benjamin Smith and colleagues (Rock Art Research Institute, Witwatersrand University) on an interdisciplinary study of Landscape and Environmental Change in Semi-Arid Landscapes of East & Southern Africa, with particular reference to the Laikipia Plateau.

After leaving the BIEA, he ran a Marie Curie research group, funded by the European Union, on the Historical Ecology of East African Landscapes based at the Department of Archaeology, University of York in the UK, following which he was the co-ordinator of the REAL (Resilience in East Afican Landscapes) project based at Uppsala University, Sweden, where he was Professor of Global Archaeology.

Professor Ambreena Manji

Ambreena Manji is Professor of Land Law and Development at Cardiff. She was previously Director of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (2010-2014). Her research is focused on Law and Society in Africa. It is strongly interdisciplinary and includes work on law in African literature. Her most recent book is The Struggle for Land and Justice in Kenya (James Currey/Boydell & Brewer 2020). Ambreena was president of the African Studies Association UK (2018-2020) and is currently a co-editor of African Affairs. She is a member of the Governing Council of the Arts and Humanities Council (AHRC). @AmbreenaManji.

Dr Mpalive-Hangson Msiska

Dr Mpalive-Hangson Msiska, a Malawian academic, is a Reader in English and Humanities, Birkbeck, University of London and Programme Director for the BA Arts and Humanities.  He teaches widely in the area of contemporary literature and interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, but his research interests are mainly in Post-colonial Literature, African literature, including East and Central African Literature.  He has previously taught at Bath Spa University, Stirling University and Chancellor College, University of Malawi.  He has published widely on African literature, including East and Central African writing, for instance, Legson Kayira,  David Maillu, Jack Mapanje and Steve Chimombo.  He has published the following books: Post-colonial Identity in Wole Soyinka (2007), Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart (2007 – co-authored), Soyinka – Writers and their Works (1998), Writing and Africa (1997 (co-edited), The Quiet Chameleon – A Study of Poetry from Central Africa (1992 – co-authored) and Tropics (Poetry, 2014) and Hargeysa Breeze (ed) – an anthology of poetry about Hargeysa city, Somaliland, by, among others, Jack Mapanje (Malawi), W.N. Herbert (Scotland), Phyllis Muthoni (Kenya) and Niyi Osundare (Nigeria).

He is currently working on Post-colonial Trauma in Chinua Achebe,  on which he has recently published ‘Colonialism, Trauma, and Affect: Chinua Achebe’s Arrow of God as Oduche’s Return,’  Research in African Literatures 49(4) (2018), pp. 46-66.

Professor Victor Murinde

Professor Victor Murinde (PhD, FRSA, FAcSS) holds the AXA Chair in Global Finance and is the founding Director of the Research Centre for Global Finance, at the School of Finance and Management, SOAS University of London. He has contributed over 100 research papers, mainly in banking and finance. According to the previous UK Research Excellence Framework (REF2014), his research on “Shaping Bank Regulatory Reforms in Africa” was recognized for exceptional impact. He is the Principal Investigator of a DFID-ESRC Research Grant on “Inclusive Finance”, 2016-2021, leading a consortium of 11 institutions across the globe. His other roles include: Chair of Group C (Finance) for the Africa Economic Research Consortium (AERC); and Council Member / Trustee of British Institute in Eastern Africa. He was the founding Director of the African Development Institute at the African Development Bank, 2011-2014. He was also Professor of Development Finance at the University of Birmingham.

Dr Pedram Rowhani

Pedram Rowhani is an Associate Professor in Geography at the University of Sussex where he works on sustainability issues with a particular focus on land use, extreme weather events, food security, and biodiversity.

Dr Iwa Salami

Dr Iwa Salamiis a senior lecturer in Financial Law and Regulation at the Royal Docks School of Business and Law. She has published extensively in the field of financial law and regulation and her list of publications include a book and numerous articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Her book, ‘Financial Regulation in Africa: An Assessment of Financial Integration Arrangements in African Emerging and Frontier Markets’ was published by Ashgate in 2012. Some of her publications include: ‘Terrorism Financing with Virtual Currencies: Can RegTech Solutions Combat This?’ published in August 2017 in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism; ‘Virtual Asset Laundering and Cryptocurrency Blending and Mixing Services’ published in May 2019 in Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence; ‘Decentralised Finance: A Holistic Approach to Regulating the Crypto Industry’, published in July 2020 in the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law; ‘Financial Technology and African Capital Markets Post Covid-19’, published in January 2021, in the Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation.

Dr Salami speaks regularly at international conferences on law, regulation and policy around financial technology, broadly. She is one of the 40 FinTech experts surveyed to predict what the future holds for cryptocurrencies in the Finder Cryptocurrency Predictions Quarterly Report. She has participated in events and debates including at the UN General Assembly meetings, UK Parliament and Chatham House and is an agenda contributor for the World Economic Forum. Her current research focuses on FinTech regulation in emerging markets and institutional frameworks for regional central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Dr Lynne Muthoni Wanyeki

‘L. Muthoni Wanyeki is a political scientist whose research focuses on African democracy, human rights and the African Union (AU).  She worked in the African human rights movement for many years, serving as the Executive Director of the African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) as well as the Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.  She currently serves as the Open Society Foundations (OSF)’s Regional Director for Africa.’

Dr Stephanie Wynne-jones

Dr Stephanie Wynne-Jones is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of York. She works on the archaeology of eastern Africa, particularly the Swahili coast, with research interests in urbanism and material culture. Dr Wynne-Jones is also Series Editor of the BIEA Memoir series, so please do get in touch with any proposals for new volumes in the series.

Co-opted

Dr Michael Jennings

Trustee

Michael is based in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS University of London, where he researches and teaches on the history and politics of global development in relation to sub-Saharan Africa. His research has explored issues in relation to non-governmental organisations, faith-based organisations and ‘local’ development actors in eastern Africa in particular; as well as issues related to religion and development; and global health and development. Michael is a former editor of the BIEA’s Journal of Eastern African Studies, and now sits on its editorial board. He is a keen blogger. His links can be found here: https://linktr.ee/mikejennings101

Dr Jason Mosley

Jason Mosley is a Research Associate at the African Studies Centre, Oxford University and Managing Editor of the Journal of Eastern African Studies. He is also an Associate Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Conflict, Peace and Security cluster, working on the Horn of Africa and Red Sea region. Jason’s current research is focused on the wider Red Sea region, in terms of peace and security issues, cultural and economic linkages, and shifts in regional multilateralism. He has a continuing interest in local reactions to state visions for the development of marginalized regions, especially in frontier areas. Jason is also active in efforts to mentor researchers in Northeast Africa, and in finding ways to amplify research agendas initiated and driven by his colleagues from the region.

Professor Simukai Chigudu

Simukai Chigudu is Associate Professor of African Politics at the Oxford Department of International Development and Fellow of St Antony’s College, Oxford University. He is broadly interested in the politics of global health and epidemics, race and identity, citizenship and activist movements, with a regional focus on Africa and the African diaspora.

Simukai is the author of The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe (Cambridge University Press, 2020), an examination of the social and political causes and consequences of Zimbabwe’s catastrophic cholera outbreak in 2008/09, the most extensive in African history. This monograph won the Theodore J. Lowi First Book Award from the American and International Political Science Associations. He has conducted research in Zimbabwe, Uganda, The Gambia, and Tanzania, and has publications in several leading social science and medical journals.

Simukai is currently writing his first book for the trade, When Will We Be Free? Living in the Shadow of Empire and the Struggle for Decolonisation, which will be published by The Bodley Head and Crown in 2024. This book will combine memoir, political history and cultural criticism to show how colonialism continues to shape politics, society and culture in Africa and in Britain and to explore what it really means to decolonise. This project is generously supported by a British Academy and Leverhulme Trust Senior Relationship Fellowship, and Simukai will spend the academic year 2022-23 writing the book as a fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Prior to working in academia, Simukai was a medical doctor in the UK’s National Health Service. He holds a DPhil in International Development from the Oxford University for which he was awarded the biennial Audrey Richards Prize for the best doctoral thesis in African Studies examined at a UK university

Dr Sharath Srinivasan

Sharath Srinivasan was founding Director and now Co-Director of the University of Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights, as well as David and Elaine Potter Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies, and Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge. He is an interdisciplinary and applied researcher currently working on issues at the intersection of digital technology and politics in Africa, alongside longstanding work on the politics of international interventions in wars in the Sudans. He lived and worked in Sudan in the early 2000s and has been researching on the region since then. He is a Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute and was previously Director of Studies for the Sudans Field Course. His book, When Peace Kills Politics: International Intervention and Unending Wars in the Sudans, was published in 2021(Hurst & Co, London; Oxford University Press, New York). He is also,co-editor (with Sarah Nouwen and Laura James) of the Proceedings of the British Academy volume, Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Beyond (British Academy/Oxford University Press, 2020), and co-editor (with Stephanie Diepeveen and George Karekwaivanane) of Publics in Africa in a Digital Age (Routledge, 2021) which arose from a Journal of Eastern African Studies Special Issue. He is also the co-founder of non-profit research spinout, Africa’s Voices (www.africasvoices.org). Originally from Australia, where he first studied law, he received his MPhil and DPhil in International Development from Oxford University.

Professor Wale Adebanwi

Wale Adebanwi is the Presidential Penn Compact Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, United States. Before joining UPenn, he was the Rhodes Professor of Race Relations at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, and the Director of the Oxford African Studies Centre. Before then he was a professor at the University of California-Davis, and lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Adebanwi received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and another Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, UK. He is the author, editor and co-editor of several books including Yoruba Elites and Ethnic Politics in Nigeria, Everyday State and Democracy in Africa: Ethnographic Encounters, Elites and the Politics of Accountability in Africa, and The Political Economy of Everyday Life in Africa: Beyond the Margins. Adebanwi is an Honorary Research Associate at the African Studies Center, Oxford University, Member of the Advisory Board of the Johannesburg Institute of Advanced Studies, South Africa, and Member of the Steering Committee of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University.