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Hon. Sen. (Prof.) Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o is currently the Senator for Kisumu County at the Kenyan Parliament. He graduated from Makerere University, Kampala, in 1971 with a BA (First Class Honours) in Political Science and Philosophy. He then received his MA (1974) and PhD (1977) in Political Science at the University of Chicago. He was a Lecturer then Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi (1977-81), Associate Research Professor at El Colegio de Mexico (1971-84), Associate Professor at Addis Ababa University (1984-86) and then joined the African Academy of Sciences as Head of Programs from 1987 to 1992.
Having been involved in the struggle against authoritarian rule in Kenya throughout his academic career, he was among the leaders who made a break through into multiple party politics in 1992. He was then elected to Parliament in that year and has served in various capacities since then. He was Minister for Planning and National Development (2003-05) and Minister for Medical Services (2008-2013). He is currently a member of the Finance, Budget and Commerce Committee of the Senate, as well as its Public Accounts Committee.
He has published several books and articles on democracy, democratization, the state and the political economy of development in Africa. Among the publications are Popular Struggles for Democracy in Africa, (London: Zed Books, 1987); The Study of African Politics: A Critical Appreciation of A Heritage (Nairobi: Ball Foundation, 2002); and A Leap Into the Future (Nairobi: Word Alive Publishers, 2095). In 1995 he was awarded the German-African Award for his contribution to democracy and democratisation in Africa. He was recently Gro Harlem Brundland Senior Leadership Fellow in the Division of Policy Translation and Leadership Development, the Harvard School of Public Health, from Dec. 2013 to March 2014.
Photo credit: Martha Stewart