Kenyan-Born Professor Robert Mokaya Feted by the Queen in UK

Kenyan-Born Professor Robert Mokaya Feted by the Queen in UK
Kenyan-Born Professor Robert Mokaya Feted by the Queen in UK

Kenyan-born Professor Robert Mokaya has been awarded the second-highest-ranking British award by the Queen.

He is a professor of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham and also doubles up as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at the institution.

Professor Mokaya was feted with the Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his outstanding service at the University of Nottingham.

The OBE award is only below the CBE and above the MBE. It aims at recognizing British excellence to individuals who impact greatly in their line of work.

“This is an unexpected honour. I am however very pleased that the work that I and many colleagues, including my students past and present, have done over the years has been recognized in this manner. I recognise that this honour would not have been possible without the support of my wife, Edna, and my family to whom I am particularly thankful,” Prof. Mokaya said while receiving the award.


The University described him as a role model and mentor to Black tutors, scholars and students in the UK, being the only Black professor of Chemistry in the country.

He is recognised as a founding member of the RSC Pan Africa Network that has helped African students access chemical education.

“Robert’s work has been instrumental in developing affordable energy solutions, strengthening and building capacity through the Ksh. 184 million (£1.2 million) fund for Capacity Building in Energy Storage Materials programme.

“Robert has continued his research along this path through EPSRC-funded schemes to provide bio-rural energy in Ghana and GCRF-funded safe and affordable low energy cooking solutions for South Africa and Namibia,” the University press stated.

University of Nottingham Vice-Chancellor Shearer West described Prof Mokaya as a role model to Black students and academics in the UK and around the world.

“Robert is an inspiration to all who work, research or study with him. He also reaches out to identify and encourage young Black students from the UK and African nations to consider courses, research and careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

“A pioneer in his field and a pioneer in supporting greater equality, diversity and inclusion in higher education, I can think of few colleagues more richly deserving of Honours recognition than Professor Robert Mokaya,” she said.

Kenyans have since joined in to congratulate the professor for his achievements.

“Congratulations to Professor Robert Mokaya who has been awarded an OBE in the UK New Year Honours for services to the chemical sciences,” Kenyan High Commissioner to the UK Manoah Esipisu wrote on social media.

“Sincere congratulations to Prof. Robert Mokaya on receiving the well-deserved Order of the British Empire (OBE) Award in recognition of contributions made in material chemistry research and a successful lecturing career at @UniofNottingham.

“Hongera, you have made us Flag of Kenya proud,” Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i stated.


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Kenyan-Born Professor Robert Mokaya Feted by the Queen in UK

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