Chinese Funded Projects and Open Governance in Kenya


  • Awino Okech Associate Professor of Political Sociology, SOAS, University of London



China, Kenya, Infrastructure, Open Governance, Foreign Policy


This article examines how Kenyan civil society uses open governance to call for government accountability around debt acquisition from China. Through two case studies, I illustrate how strategic litigation has become a framework through which civil society exercises leadership from below in the face of constrained parliamentary scrutiny. Rather than a one-sided conversation about “China in Africa”, these case studies show that open governance serves a dual role of holding the Kenyan government accountable to its citizens, whilst critiquing the debt acquisition infrastructure of the Chinese government.

Author Biography

Awino Okech, Associate Professor of Political Sociology, SOAS, University of London

Dr. Awino Okech is an Associate Professor of Political Sociology at SOAS, University of London where she teaches in the Department of Politics and International Studies. As a feminist scholar-activist, Awino’s teaching, and research interests lie in the nexus between gender, sexuality, security, and nation-state-making projects as they occur in conflict and post-conflict societies. Her work is grounded in African feminist, queer, and Black internationalist thought as central frameworks for thinking about power and justice. Some of Awino’s recent publications include Movement Building Responses to COVID-19: Lessons from the JASS Mobilisation Fund (2021), Feminist Digital Counterpublics: Challenging Femicide in Kenya and South Africa (2021), African Feminist Epistemic Communities and Decoloniality (2020) and Gender, Protests and Political Change in Africa (2020).




How to Cite

Okech, A. (2021). Chinese Funded Projects and Open Governance in Kenya. Leadership and Developing Societies, 6(1).