Dr. Bob Wekesa is Deputy Director at the African Centre for the Study of the United States at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), South Africa. He is interim chairman of the African Centres for the Study of the U.S. which brings together scholars from eleven African universities. He is secretary to the Governing Board of the U.S. Business in Africa Awards (USBAA), an industry-academia-policy partnership inaugurated in February 2020. Since 2015, Dr. Wekesa has been a senior lecturer at the Wits Centre for Journalism where he teaches and supervises international communications.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nairobi and master’s and doctoral degrees from the Communication University of China. His area of teaching, research and public engagement is international communication focused on the intersection of media and international affairs. His publication record includes conceptualization and editorship of seminal special issue on “digital diplomacy in Africa” published by the South African Journal of International Affairs (2021); a book chapter on African public diplomacy in the respected Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy (2020) and editorship of a first-of-a-kind volume entitled “Africa’s Policy Towards the U.S.: The Biden Era” (2021) – a sequel is in the works. His latest editorship, “China versus the U.S.: The Battle for Digital Supremacy in Africa” came out in July 2022.
He has been published extensively on Africa-China and Africa-U.S. relations in peer reviewed journals, books, newspapers, and blogs. Among other projects he is currently leading is “U.S.-Africa Cities” conference and publication project. His book chapters on Africa-China topics have been published by the International Political Economy Series of Palgrave Macmillan, the Africa World Press and Routledge. Peer-reviewed articles on Africa-China relations have been published by journals including African East-Asian Affairs, Journal of African Cultural Studies, the Zambia Social Science Journal, Journal of African Media Studies, and African Journalism Studies journal. He has edited and written hundreds of policy briefs and think pieces for leading publications in Africa, the U.S. and China. He has taught, supervised, and examined over 20 post-graduate media and journalism projects from Wits and other African, American, and British universities.
Dr. Wekesa is a visiting fellow at the University of Southern California, a board member of two international journals and is advisory board member Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network based at Georgetown University, and board member of the African Centre for the Study of the US at University of Nairobi.