Prof. Francis Onditi
Riara University has appointed Prof. Francis Onditi as an associate professor of conflictology & Dean, School of International Relations and Diplomacy, Nairobi, Kenya. Prof. Onditi, who previously served as senior lecturer and head of department in the same university took up his new appointment on 1st December 2021. Prof. Onditi is a widely published pan-African researcher specializing in the geography of African conflict and evolutionary nature of conflict. He has published more than 70 articles in peer reviewed journals, contributed 20 chapters to edited volumes, and authored/co-edited 6 university level books. His steadfast research and publication track-record earned him the 2019 AISA Fellowship awarded by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa. He was recently enlisted as a distinguished research author and professor of research at the Institute for Intelligent Systems (IIS), University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Prof. Onditi’s research contribution is mainly in modelling, thinking uncharted models, and development of theoretical frameworks and concepts, including the ‘dominatarian theory of regional integration’, and ‘Technology for Peaceful Society’ (T4PS). His current professorial research focuses on “exploring the analytical conception of the closeness centrality, and its implications for a theory of interactivities for enhancing understanding of the process of conflict excavators and extractives with the aim of providing an explanation of the intrinsic character of interaction among human beings, communities and states as a process of diffusion of power, conflict reversals, and peace interlocutors.” Simply put: What is the likelihood of conflict, when people, states or societies are in close proximity or far a part?
Prof. Onditi, studies various themes related to peace and conflict studies as an aspect of international relations. Currently, he is focused on advancing the field of conflictology by deploying analytical approaches to understanding conflict; how network among armed groups develops, measuring ‘closeness centrality’, how this ‘closeness’ or ‘spatial distance’ contribute to evolution of conflict in spaces such as tribal markets. He is also excited about developing alternative theories of conflict beyond the liberal peace frameworks to accommodate the invisible elements of conflict in the society. He believes research and partnership is the ‘Soul’ of authentic scholarship. He has a wide-range of experience and deep knowledge of scientific research in the field of peace and conflict studies. He has served as guest editor to global premier journals, affiliated to global professional associations, including the Society of African Journal Editors and International Science Council (Africa Office- Pretoria). He has also acted as consultant-advisor to regional organizations including the EAC, RECSA, and ECCAS.
Prof. Onditi began his career as a Graduate Research Assistant at IDS, University of Nairobi, and thereafter his MA degree taught courses in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, same university. Prior to joining Riara University, Onditi spent some years working with United Nations agencies and International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC). In both institutions, he served in different capacities, including, Ag. Head of Research Department, Directing Staff (DS), Analyst and advisor on women, peace and security (WPS). Onditi is a recipient of a number of Awards including, the best MA grands by IFRA/C.R.E.AT.I.N.G /EU, and the AAU post-graduate scholarship. His 700-page Doctoral Research Dissertation was recognized as pioneer piece in enriching peace and conflict studies with PSO concepts. A Pan-African scholar and conflict researcher, Prof. Onditi received his Bachelors and MA degrees from the University of Nairobi, under the scholarship scheme, and Ph.D. at MMUST. He is also trained in Strategic Management, Innovation and Leadership at MCTC-MASHAV, Haifa, Israel.