Dr. Duncan Omanga, the Head, Department of Publishing and Media Studies at Moi University has won the inaugural Facebook Research Award, under the Facebook Protect and care research projects. He was also the only African to receive the award.

The award comes with a 50,000 USD grant (approximately Ksh. 5,000,000) and a visit to  Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park in California. Dr. Omanga says he will use the grant to run a project in Kayole and Umoja. The project will focus on how social media contributes to community policing by helping to locate criminal gangs or police services. The project will also investigate how social media influences journalistic routines.

Dr. Omanga has been a columnist at the The Daily Nation and currently writes for The Standard newspaper. He is also the author of the book, Media and Terrorism: Editorial Cartoons and Framing of Terrorism in Kenya in addition to several academic publications.

The Facebook Protect and Care research project studies human behavior and their interaction with technology in a bid to make social media spaces safer. The Facebook Research Awards invites academics to apply for research grants to address specific challenges in areas of interest to Facebook.