History December 17, 2018 at 02:00 pm

Remembering prominent Kenyan scholar Calestous Juma

Nduta Waweru December 17, 2018 at 02:00 pm

December 17, 2018 at 02:00 pm | History

Photo: Daily Nation

It has been a year since Professor Calestous Juma died.  At the time of his death, he was a professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University.

Juma was also the Faculty Chair of the Edward S. Mason Fellows Program and the Faculty Chair of the “Innovation for Economic Development” and “Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa” executive programme.

All through his life, he is remembered as a person who had Africa in his heart thanks to his contributions to the continent in different capacities. 

Born on June 9, 1953, Juma started his career as a teacher, instructing students in Mombasa between 1974 and 1978. At this time, he would be teaching during the day and writing newspaper articles, paving his way into a journalism career. He would earn his Master’s Degree and PhD at the University of Sussex, a few years later before finding his way into Harvard University.  

Juma’s work in biodiversity both locally and globally earned him a reputation as a scholar who interacted with all individuals regardless of their profession. He also engaged in other topics on social media and other scholarly platforms, including to highlight the impact of technological disruptions on the society.

Besides serving in different capacities on both government and academic institutions, Juma was also an author. His last book, Innovation and Its Enemies. Why People Resist New Technologies, published in 2016, offers strategies into how inclusive innovation can reduce the risks and maximize the benefits of new technologies.

Juma passed away on December 15, 2017, after a long illness. He was undergoing treatment in Boston, Massachusetts.  He is survived by a wife and a son, both living in Boston.

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