School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Although February 14th marked both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday for Catholic faithful, it was also an exceptional day for Strathmore School of Humanities and Social Sciences (SHSS).   Students at SHSS were privileged to learn extensively from the Indonesian and Philippines ambassadors to Kenya and their delegations.


I am always eager to highlight the beauty and depth of pursuing a career in international studies. This sentiment was reinforced during the interactive session the students had with the two ambassadors . H.E Ambassador Ms. Marie Charlotte G. Tang, the  Philippines ambassador to Kenya, explained the Philippines’ commitment to effective and inclusive multilateralism, sustainability, and adherence to rules-based maritime governance. This includes an understanding of historical rights and maritime entitlement in the South China Sea, which is a very widely studied topic in international studies that is emphasized and well taught by Dr. Kigen, Dr Kaniaru and Dr. Kamudhayi. It was also important to note that the Philippines was the first signatory to foreign policy and sustainability on matters regarding maritime governance.

The good Ambassador also addressed the pressing issue of climate change, highlighting the parallels between the challenges faced by the Philippines and Kenya, particularly in dealing with El Niño effects and flooding. Furthermore, her discussion on migration governance, which is another sensitive issue in international relations, resonated well with Dr. Syallow’s insightful teachings on the contemporary issue in international Relations.  It is important to note that the Philippines is committed to promoting the rights and welfare of migrants. It was also interesting to hear that the Philippines is aspiring to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Ambassador Tang promised that if they get this opportunity they will work to promote and ensure international peace and security.

We also learned about ASEA- led Regional Security Architecture, which is an equivalent of what we have as the East African Community. Comprising 11 member states, ASEAN works to ensure mutual respect and peaceful conflict resolution.  It was also important to note that ASEAN works to ensure bilateral partnerships in Africa in what they call “Africa for mutually beneficial outcomes.” The Ambassador also expressed her joy for the Kenyan population ‘s love of Filipino television telenovelas, where she jokingly said that most Kenyans know Filipino telenovela actors better than she does. She concluded her remarks by reaffirming her dedication to nurturing good diplomatic relations between Kenya and the Philippines. The hilarious Indonesian Ambassador to Kenya, Dr. Mohamad Hery Saripudin, began his presentation by stating that Kenya and Indonesia are neighbours merely separated by the Indian Ocean.

Allow me to tell you some facts about Indonesia as conveyed by the Ambassador.


Indonesia boasts a population of approximately 273 million people.

It is the largest Muslim-majority country in the world.

Has 1300 recognized ethnic groups.


Indonesia comprises an astounding 1700 islands.

The nation operates within three time zones.

Administratively, it is divided into 38 provinces.


The current president is Joko Widodo (2014-Date)

The nation held elections on 14th Feb 2024, coinciding with Valentine’s Day.


The talk culminated in an engaging question and answer session,  during which SHSS students asked brilliant questions,  eliciting detailed answers. The good ambassadors encouraged us (students) to go for these opportunities because the future lies in the hands of the youth. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the invaluable role Strathmore University has played in facilitating talks and providing numerous opportunities for personal and professional development to its students. The platform you have created for engaging discussions and the doors you have opened to various opportunities have been instrumental in our growth as students. The commitment to fostering an environment that encourages dialogue and learning is truly commendable. I appreciate Strathmore University’s efforts  to enrich our academic experience and broaden our horizons. These opportunities not only enhance our education but also contribute significantly to shaping our future endeavors.

Article written by Reuben James Mutuku, 4th Year Student pursuing BA International Studies