Karibu! Thanks for visiting our East African Internship Blog. It is an exciting time for us as Queen Elizabeth Scholars to acclimatize ourselves to the East African region. Currently, we have six interns working in partnership with Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam.  We also have three interns working in Nairobi, Kenya. The Kenyan interns are split into two groups: one is working with UNOPS (United Nations Office for Project Services) and UN-Habitat, while the other two have projects with Aga Khan University.

Speaking on behalf of the Kenyan team, this past week was full of meetings. We familiarized ourselves with the people we are working with and the offices we are working in. We are already conceptualizing exciting project plans that we hope to share with our readers throughout these next few months. A blog authorship rotation is in place so each Wednesday, a different voice from our team will be heard. Additionally, the Tanzanian team will provide content on the weekends for your East African reading pleasure.

Before I sign off, I would like to leave you with some photos from the NASA Earth Observatory website (link below). If you click on the “view image comparison” button and scroll from left to right on the image, you are able to see the urban growth Nairobi has experienced from 1986 to 2016. During this span, the city’s population has more than doubled due to the influx of people migrating into urban areas. This is seen throughout Africa where “by 2030, over half of Africa’s population will reside in urban areas” (Crush, Hovorka, & Tevera, 2011, p. 285). Urbanization adds stress to valuable food inputs such as land, water and climate quality. As a result, food security remains a priority for the future of Nairobi. Our research will contribute to ongoing work that addresses these topics and we look forward to see where it takes us.

Until next time… Kwaheri!

Crush, J., Hovorka, A., & Tevera, D. (2011). Food security in Southern African cities: The place of urban agriculture. Progress in Development Studies11(4), 285-305.

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