The Team

Joseph Onjala


Prof. Joseph Onjala, is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Development Studies, University of Nairobi. He holds PhD in Environment and Development from Roskilde University (Denmark). He has served as the Coordinator of Master’s Programme since 2002 and currently teaches postgraduate courses in Development Impact Evaluation, Environment and Natural Resources Management; Energy Policy Planning and Development; and Development Research Methodology at the Institute. He also teaches PhD in Development Economics at the School of Economics (University of Nairobi) and has in the past taught at the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) Collaborative Programme for PhD (JFE). He has supervised several PhD and Master’s students.


Prof. Onjala’s main academic research interests is in Environment and Natural Resources management (especially on water and energy issues). He also has a distinguished research focus on China-Africa Economic relations. His most cited publications are: “China’s Development Loans and the threat of Debt Crisis in Kenya.” Development Policy Review. Volume 36, Issue S2 September 2018, “Chinese Direct Investments in Africa: Motivations and Development Implications.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Volume XVII number 1, Winter/Spring 2016; “Relational patterns of Urbanization and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa”. Development Southern Africa, Vol. 33, Issue 2, March 2016; “Risk Perception, Choice of Drinking Water and Water Treatment: Evidence from Kenyan towns” Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development. Volume 04.2, 2014. A Scoping Study on China-Africa Economic Relations: The Case of Kenya (African Economic Research Consortium, 2008).

Prof. Onjala has a wide experience in local and international research and consultancy collaborations. He has played leading roles in the preparation of a number of Human Development Reports with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Human Security and Development, and Industrialization and Human Development in Kenya; He has closely collaborated with United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) of capacity building on environment issues; United National Environment Programme on energy forecasts and valuation of wetlands; World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature – Eastern African Regional Office on the water resource accounting and conservation in the Mara River Basin; United Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) on Green Economy Transition in Africa; European Commission on Restoration and Conservation of the Water Towers in Kenya. Currently he is collaborating with IPC – Internationale Projekt Consult GmbH  and European Investment Bank (EIB) as Environment and Social Management Advisor on EIB intermediated lending operation for small and medium agri-food sector investments integrating smallholders in Kenya.