Current and Planned Programmes

The East African Dialogue Series 

The aim of EADS is to provide a platform for East Africans to discuss East Africa's urgent social and economic issues and to provoke thoughtful reflection, informed public debate and civic engagement. Moreover, the EADS seeks to nurture a regional community of next-generation thought leaders, inspire government, development partners, business leaders, civil society, and local communities to grapple with challenges that confront East Africa. 

The dialogue series - which will be research and evidence informed will include lectures, debates and workshops - seeks to advance a sense of "East Africa-ness", a shared understanding of our common destiny at ​the most fundamental level while stimulating new ideas, perspectives and evidence-base that could be paradigm shifting and agenda setting in ways that could inform policy and development planning. At its core, the dialogue series will: challenge existing paradigms; ask new questions; focus on solutions; and raise the level of public debate and engagement. 

​Initially, the dialogue series will focus on youth, urbanization, inequality, and extractive resources. Future topics will include the food-water-energy nexus. The series will take an entrepreneurial approach, searching, listening, and anticipating as well as actively cultivating interest in emerging issues of urgent concern to the East African public. A survey of East African youth covering Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania has been completed. For more information:​ 

EAC University Students' Debate

In partnership with the East African Community and the International University of East Africa, the EAI is supporting the 4th EAC University Students' Debate on Regional Integration. The motion framing the debate is derived from the EAI's Youth Survey and it aims to discuss accountable leadership, ethics, and democratic governance among youth. 

Planning for Sustainable Urban Food Systems

With rapid urbanization, we are seeing an unprecedented rise in the demand for food, massive sprawl and crowding out of peri-urban agriculture. Moreover, with land fragmentation, land degradation and climate change, we are witnessing an accelerated decline in food production in rural areas. Hence, urban food systems in East Africa are fragile. 

In partnership with the University of the Fraser Valley, Canada and the County of Nairobi, this project seeks to understand in more detail the urban food shed and the dynamics of rural-urban food flows and the necessary innovation on urban planning that releases new land and protects existing urban and peri-urban farmland. How do we move towards resilient and equitable urban food systems? The next phase of the project will focus on the cities of Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Kigali. 

Maximizing the Development Impact of Extractive Industries 

Africa is awash with hydrocarbons. The history of hydrocarbons in Africa is also inextricably bound with corruption, conflict and deplorable human development outcomes, given the experience of Angola, Nigeria, Sudan and South Sudan. Can East Africa's resource avoid the path of a resource curse and instead drive equitable and durable economic development? 

In partnership with local grassroots organizations and working with the County Government of Turkana, we are looking at how oil and associated investments, through diverse value chains, can drive inclusive economic growth. The fundamental question through dialogue with local businesses, local government, youth, women and elders is how ready is Turkana for an oil economy and what social, economic, human capital and institutional assets need to be built? A larger initiative on natural resources will focus on the coastal regions of Kenya and Tanzania. ​