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Kenyan scholar wins Sh5m to study how Nairobians use Facebook

Moi University lecturer Duncan Omanga has won the inaugural Facebook Research Award beating other applicants from across the globe.

The award was given by the social media giant under the Facebook Protect and Care Research projects.

Dr Omanga is the Head of Department, Publishing and Media Studies, School of Information Sciences.

The award is worth $50,000 (Sh5 million) and will be used to conduct a research on how Facebook has impacted people’s lives.

“He will use the grant to run a project in Kayole, Umoja and Huruma Estates of Nairobi, in seeking to probe the intersections of journalistic routines, community policing and Facebook, by way of an investigation of the life-worlds and discursive practices that locate criminal gangs, digital publics and the police service in one social media space,” read a statement from the University.

Dr Omanga, who will be sponsored to visit the Menlo Park, California, the headquarters of the social media giant, was elated Tuesday saying he was ready to do the research after his application was picked as the winner.

He said his research will focus on how Facebook has helped in combating crime in some of the estates in Eastlands in Nairobi.

“I will have to pick two masters students to work with on this project and they will do a thesis on this subject,” he told the Nation on phone.