A Murdoch University Professor has been honoured by the President of Kenya.
The honour is one of the highest civilian service awards granted by the President of Kenya during Jamhuri (independence) Day celebrations each year in recognition of individuals’ outstanding contribution and distinguished services to the country.
Professor Makinda, who is a Kenyan-born Australian that has lived in Australia for 30 years, received the award for his exemplary contribution to the country’s education, international relations and communication.
A former editor of the Daily Nation, Professor Makinda writes a weekly column in the Nairobi-based Business Daily. He participated in the establishment of the Kenyan National Defence College in the mid-1990s and in the creation of Kenya’s Foreign Service Institute in 2007. In 2001, he was appointed the Distinguished Lecturer for the UN University’s Institute for Natural Resources in Africa and the UN Environment Programme.
Professor Makinda will be presented with his medal at a function later in the year.
He said: “I am delighted that Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki has recognised my work as an academic, a public policy analyst and a community worker.
“While I am unable to identify any particular project or activity that might have fascinated President Kibaki, I believe he took into account my role as a public intellectual.
“For this reason, I share this award with my students and colleagues at Murdoch and elsewhere; some Australian and Kenyan government agencies that have often sought my perspectives on a range of issues; members of the Kenyan community in Western Australia for whom I am the patron; as well as the Australian and Kenyan media that have always given me opportunities to express my views.”
Professor Makinda is Professor of Politics and International Studies and the Chair of Security, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Studies at Murdoch University. He is a member of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific and served on the Australian Foreign Minister’s National Consultative Committee for International Security Issues between 2001 and 2008. He has research experience in the areas of democracy and global governance, the UN and peacekeeping, transnational terrorism, and security in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Associate Professor Andrew Webster, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, said: “Professor Makinda’s award by the Kenyan president is an acknowledgement of the great impact of his work on Kenyan society and its policies.”