Prof. Mwangi Peter Wanderi is an Associate Professor and currently the Director, University – Industry Partnerships, Kenyatta University, Kenya. He has over 22 years of teaching experience at the University in the areas of Sport Anthropology, Exercise Physiology, and Pedagogy of Physical Education and Sports both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has successfully supervised over 50 postgraduate candidates at various levels up to PhD. He attained his Doctorial in 2001, which is on Traditional Games of Africa. This is an area he has widely contributed to through teaching, research and prolific publishing. He received a Senior Scholars‟ Research Award from the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) in 2005. In 2007, he founded the Kenya Federation of Traditional Games and Sports. In the same year, he was awarded a Research Grant by the German based organization, Katholischer Akademischer Auslaender-Dienst (KAAD). He has numerously served as an academic consultant for several institutions within East Africa and beyond since 1995. Between 2007 and 2008 he was appointed a Consultant by UNESCO to initiate, co-ordinate and document a research report on the theme , “Physical Education and Sports (PES) in Kenya with Special Reference to Teacher–Training Colleges”. He served as the LOC Chair for the 17th Biennial Conference of the International Society of Comparative Physical Education and Sports (ISCPES) hosted by Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya, (which was graced by Mr. Wilfred Lemke, the Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Sport for Peace and Development). Between August to December, 2009 he participated in the Nile Basin Research Programme on a full time engagement at the University Of Bergen, Norway. He is a founding Executive Member of both the African Sport Management and World Sport Management Association respectively. So far he has established and maintains a very strong and vibrant working academic network in numerous countries all over the world including China, Germany, Australia, Norway, Canada, US, Venezuela, Russia, Taiwan as well as from all parts of Africa as shown in his full CV which is availed online. In 2011 he was on a campaign to promote traditional games of Kenya under a partnership between Kenyatta University and National Commission for UNESCO. In 2012, he attended a seminar in China on Science, Technology and Innovation between 2nd and 17th September 2012. Simultaneously, he initiated a partnership which led to the introduction of Students Training on Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP) initiative at Kenyatta University which is a research based entrepreneurial training. In 2013 - 2014, he initiated academic relations with 3 US universities, namely, West Virginia University, Ohio University at Athens and Columbia University in South Carolina.
Strengths, Challenges and Prospects of Sports and Games in Africa: Candid reflections of an African Scholar
The fast growing sport institution has been unfolding differently in different parts of the world where each continent has had at any one time, its own strengths, challenges and prospects. While a number of features are commonly identified with sports throughout the world, there are particular phenomena that are unique to each continent. For instance, within the African continent, different modern games and sports were introduced at different times from either the western world (Europe and America) or from Asia (India, Japan or China). When some of these activities were newly introduced, they were presented in most countries such as Kenya as preserves for the Europeans or for Europeans and Indians and were mostly reserved within the neighborhoods, schools or clubs that were exclusively for the Europeans or for the Indians. Towards and after independence they were opened up for the African who picked them up to varying levels of success and challenges between one African country and the other. Considering that the world marked the International Day of Sports for Peace and Development on the 6th April this year, there is a need to take our stock and see where as Africans we have had some strength for possible emulation and where we have had a challenge to seek viable solutions. In this way, Africa shall in deed be able to celebrate the International Day of Sports for Peace and Development every year more prominently and confidently. This presentation is an attempt to highlight some of the strengths and challenges of sports in Africa and with a heavy emphasis to Kenya. Hopefully, the thoughts shared through this presentation shall serve to sports policy makers as an eye opener for the long way to go before we consider it to be well done. Sport being a multidisciplinary institution, there is a need to invite all professionals to join hands to analyze our performance and strive for greater prosperity in sports.