The University of Nairobi has promoted Richard Mulwa to the position of Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy at the University of Nairobi. Richard Mulwa is currently teaching at the Faculty of Law and the Department of Economics and Development Studies. He is also the current Center Director and research lead at EfD-Kenya, hosted at the University of Nairobi. Richard Mulwa got the appointment for promotion on 31st October 2023.
Richard Mulwa says that the decision to pursue a career in academia was a personal initiative inspired by individual interest rather than family influence. The spark was ignited during his high school years in form 3 and form 4 when an economics teacher on internship in his school introduced some economic concepts including Rostow’s five stages of economic growth which intrigued him and made him develop a keen interest in economics at a young age. Performing well academically, he continued to the university for his first degree and subsequently decided to pursue a second and third degree. The academic journey fueled an interest in teaching, leading him to embrace a career in academia.
Settled on climate change economics
Over the years, Richard Mulwa's research has evolved significantly. During his master’s degree, his focus was on efficiency and productivity analysis. His doctorate studies introduced him to the realm of resource and environmental economics. In the early years of his career, he was working on topics that combined these two areas. From 2012 his research started gravitating toward the valuation of ecosystem assets. Subsequently, his research expanded to encompass climate change, where he applied partial and general equilibrium modeling on climate change issues. Currently, his primary focus is on topics in climate change with special emphasis on a just transition and just resilience. Richard Mulwa also conveys that looking forward, his future research interests include delving into emerging fields such as the green and blue economy, which hold significant growth potential.
Policy-relevant research is the key
Richard Mulwa’s key advice for aspiring faculty members and students is to focus on producing quality research material that can influence policies. It should not be research for its own sake, but cutting-edge research that can solve real societal challenges. He also encourages those advising or mentoring students to ensure that they produce quality and publishable work. Finally, networks, both national and international are critical for any researcher as they open the scope of research by highlighting what other researchers in various parts of the globe are working on, and the methods they are using to address various challenges.
“I will deliver the inaugural lecture for full professorship next year and perhaps enroll in a Doctor of Science program at a later date,” states Richard Mulwa.
Beyond personal development, he is also dedicated to mentoring as many researchers and students as possible.
By: Jane Maina