Daystar University


Home Events > 22, Jun 2024
Daystar University Hosts 74th Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Nairobi Regional HUB

Part of ICA participants/organizers | Photo Credit: Phicol

By Hannington Karanja

Daystar University, for the fourth year running, hosted the 74th Annual ICA Conference, at its Nairobi Campus which serves as the ICA Nairobi Regional HUB, from Thursday, 20th - 22nd June 2024. The theme of the conference was: Communication and Global Human Rights.

The ICA Nairobi Regional Hub conference was officially opened on Thursday 20th June 2024 by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Research and Student Affairs, Prof. Faith Nguru. In her remarks, Prof. Nguru appreciated the organizing committee and delegates for making the 74th ICA Kenya Hub conference a reality. She observed that communication is a fundamental pillar of human interaction, and a tool for change and development. She equated effective communication to justice, noting that while every individual had a right, not every individual knows their rights. She called on communicators to use various channels of communication to educate masses of their rights.

“Let us give a voice to the marginalized and vulnerable groups in society,” she urged.

Speaking via Zoom, Immediate Former ICA President Prof. Noshir Contractor gave an overview of the journey of the International Communication Association, particularly mentioning the formation of regional hubs, in 2023.  He highlighted key tenets of global human rights which include freedom of expression and opinion, non-discrimination and equal opportunity, right to privacy, right to participate in collective bargaining and protection against harassment and abuse. Prof. Noshir promised his unwavering support to ICA Regional hubs.

A section of the ICA participants during the conference | Photo Credit: Jeanfils

The Chairperson of ICA Kenya Chapter, Sr. Prof. A. L. Lando, also via Zoom from Gold Coast, Australia, was thrilled by the positive attitude and eagerness among delegates participating in the conference. She urged communication scholars present to uphold their commitment to research and use it to change society for the better. She appreciated those who submitted papers, and encouraged many more submissions from both graduate students and faculty from Daystar University and beyond. Professor applauded the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) and ICA Kenya Chapter Executive Board, for continually steering the Association in the right direction. “It is commendable that the Chapter has achieved a lot in terms of membership, paper submission and presentations, as well as publication, in just one year of its inauguration” she said.

On her part, the Director of Research, Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship (RICE) Dr. Caroline Ayuya expressed her admiration for technology and its impact in the advocacy of human rights. She acknowledged the radical changes in the communication landscape, pointing out the growth of the digital community while citing the uniqueness of the ongoing countrywide protests by Generation Z organized through social media. Dr. Ayuya underscored the importance of relationship building, joint research, product commercialization and growth of new ideas.

The Nairobi Regional Hub attracted sixteen papers from local universities in Kenya, including Daystar University, Multi Media University, Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), and the University of Nairobi. There also were individual presenters from USA. The ICA Nairobi Regional Hub also held three panel discussions around the conference theme.

Sampling from some of the presentations:

  • Dr. Lydia Radoli Ouma from Daystar University presented on the topic: Post-Colonial Imagery- Debunking Media Ethics and Rights in Hegemonic Narratives on African Digital Media Space. Dr. Radoli study aimed at exposing dominant narratives on African digital media content. Additionally, she passionately orated on the ethics and rights of journalists in news coverage and informing the public.
  • Ms. Brenda Wambua and Dr. Anne Eboi from Daystar University jointly presented on: The Paradox of the Freedom of Expression in Africa. The duo argued that the media in most parts of Africa serves at the mercy of government consequently hijacking the media’s role as society watchdog.
  • Dr. Isaac Mutwiri Mutunga from Multimedia University presented on Communication in the Artificial Intelligence Age. He emphasized the dynamics of communication in today’s world and explored the impact of artificial intelligence.
  • Mr. Brian Kweyu, an Undergraduate student from CUEA presented on The Role of the Media in Protecting Human Rights. He noted that the Media has played an important role in fighting for human rights and assisting the police in arresting the culprits who commit such offences and escape.
  • Also from Daystar University, Jean Murungi and Naomi Nyamai, both PhD students presented a paper on Indigenizing Corporate Communication in African organizations. The duo observed that adopting an Afrocentric approach would endear organizations to their stakeholder groups because stakeholders would feel their organizations understand and care about them.

Other presenters included Dennis Oketch speaking on Public Speaking Eloquence as Agency for Change: Analysis of Prof. Lumumba’s ‘Magulification of Africa’ lecture; Ms. Larissa Odini, a Daystar University PhD student examined the influence of Prof. Wangari Maathai’s communication strategies on contemporary African Women’s Leadership; Dr. Francisca Odonda & Billie Kisia addressed Visual Communication to Educate Male Youth on Mitigation of Sexual Harassment of Men in Nairobi, Kenya; while Eric Kadenge, via Zoom, spoke on African Perceptions of Chinese Mega Projects in Kenya, emphasizing on the history and current position of China’s presence in the continent, among others.

The Global ICA Annual conference was held concurrently, in Gold Coast Australia, from 20th June to 24th June.  The 75th ICA conference will be held next year in Colorado USA.