Dr. Ogenga is the Head of the Department of Communication, Journalism and Media Studies, Rongo University College, Kenya and the Founding Director, Center for Media, Democracy, Peace & Security (CMDPS). He writes expert commentaries for the Daily Nation and Standard mainstream newspapers in Kenya and has contributed several peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles on media, elections, conflict, and peacebuilding in Africa in journals such as Journal of African Elections, Africa Conflict and Peace-building Review, Conflict and Communication Online, Media and Democracy Journal, Global Media Journal, Journal of Journalism and Mass Communication, Africa Journal of Democracy and Governance, and Semiotica - Global Journal of Semiotics. Dr. Ogenga is a beneficiary of the 2014 Africa Diaspora Fellowship (ADF) and recipient of the 2014 African Peacebuilding Network (APN) Research Grant. He has worked as a visiting scholar on media and sociology at the Institute for the Advancement of Social Sciences (IASS), Boston University, USA. In 2015, Dr. Ogenga was appointed a Visiting Researcher at the African Studies Center, Boston University.

He is a Southern Voices Network for Peacebuilding Scholar at the Wilson Center.

Project Summary

This study seeks to rationalize the need for a better understanding of the role of women in violent extremism in Kenya, and the role that the media can play in framing and portraying the role of women in violent extremism and terrorism. The study will attempt to answer five main questions: 1) What makes Kenya vulnerable to violent extremism and terrorism? 2) How does this vulnerability interplay with the role of women in terrorism and violent extremism in Kenya? 3) What do we know about the role, scope, and scale of women’s involvement in violent extremism in Kenya? 4) Could African-centric media approaches and discourses help us better understand, cover, and forestall women’s role in facilitating and perpetrating terrorism? 5) And, in constructing these approaches, what lessons can governments, international actors, and the Kenyan media learn from how media in other regions of Africa affected by terrorism have approached these issues? This study will also draw on lessons learned from three West African case studies experiencing a rise in the phenomenon of female suicide bombers. These cases studies will allow us to further examine how women are represented in news stories and to explore the possibility of using pan-African mass media approaches of Utu, Umoja, and Harambee, in a bid to not only appraise the role of the mainstream media in countering violent extremism but also the role of women.

Major Publications

Ogenga, F. 2015. From al-Qaeda to al-Shabaab: The Global and Local Implications of Terror in Kenya and East Africa. Africa Journal of Democracy and Governance. Vol 2 Issue 3 & 4, 2015.

Ogenga, F. 2014. Assessing Peace Journalism on Kenya Television Network’s Diaspora Voices in the 2013 Elections. Africa Journal of Democracy and Governance, Vol. 1 No 2.

Ogenga, F. 2014. Visual Semiotics and the National Flag: a Kenyan Perspective of Anglo-American Globecultural Domination through Mainstream Music Videos. Semiotica, 2014; 202: 533 – 553.