Prince Guma

Prince Karakire Guma

Prince is a social scientist, urban imaginer and PhD candidate in the Graduate School for Urban Studies (URBANgrad) at Technische Universät Darmstadt. His project titled “Urban Infrastructure, Informality and the Mobile Age in African Cities” attempts to construct and re-construct urban infrastructure systems in the age of mobile technology amidst informality in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. It focuses on: socio-technical and socio-spatial aspects and characteristics in the digital age; the anticipation, expectation, and implementation of mobile applications; but also their real and actual impact, as well as broader connections between 'flexibility', 'informality' and mobility. His prior work has questioned how forces of urbanity, rurality, pre/post/coloniality and contemporaneity elucidate, obscure, affect or are affected by experiences and expressions of sociality, identity and community in a myriad of African spaces. In 2014, Prince worked on a project called “Reimagining Rurality in Mobile Money Times” with a grant from the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI) at the University of California, Irvine. He is a 2013/2014 research fellow of the Harry Frank Guggenheim (HFG) Foundation's „Young African Scholars“ programme, and a 2013/2014 research fellow of the IASSCS–Ford Foundation's Emerging Scholars International Research Fellowship Program.

PhD project

Urban Infrastracture, Informality and the Mobile Age in African Cities

Over recent years, there has been much interest in mobile technology. As work in this area has progressed, commentators have moved beyond studying its use and adoption in everyday life, toward exploring its role and contribution in the provision of social services. However, hardly any attention so far has been given to its complex and dynamic relations with infrastructure and informality in urban Africa. This project thus draws upon water and energy systems in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, to explore the multiple ways through which technical systems and spaces are constructed and reconstructed through the diffusion and uptake of mobile technology. Specifically, it seeks to: (1) conceptualize socio-technical and socio-spatial characteristics in the development of mobile technology in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam; (2) understand utility interests, expectations and strategies in the uptake of mobile water and energy payment innovations; (3) understand the role and impact of mobile payment systems in the use and access of water and energy services in urban livelihoods; and (4) explain how mobile-enabled services shape (or are shaped) by urban informality. Together, the findings are hoped to provide a menu for new explorations, to enhance our understanding of mobile possibilities, and to add new insights to the debate on mobile technology in Africa and beyond.

University Studies and Degrees

2008 – 2011 MA (Public Administration & Management), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
2009 – 2011 MBA (International Business), Amity University, Uttar Pradesh, India.
2004 – 2008 BA (Social Sciences), Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Research Fellowships and Awards

2014-2017 Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (HBS), Graduate School for Urban Studies (URBANgrad), Technische Universität Darmstadt.
2014-2015 Institute for Money, Technology & Finanacial Inclusion IMTFI–Gates Foundation, The University of California, Irvine (Approx. $7,500).
2013-2014 Ford Foundation–IASSCS Emerging Scholars International Research Fellowship Program (Approx. $4,600).
2013-2014 Harry Frank Guggeinheim Foundation (HFGF), Young African Scholars Programme, New York (Appox. $2,000)
2013 Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar-Senegal, 2013 (Approx. $1,500).

Institutes and Workshops Attended

CODESRIA/CASB Summer School in African Studies – “Interdisciplinarity and Methodological Challenges in Area Studies.” The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the Center for African Studies Basel (CASB). Dakar, Senegal. 23–27 March, 2015.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) Priority Programme SPP 1448, “Adaptation and Creativity in Africa – Significations and Technologies in the Production of Order and Disorder” [A Second Biennial Conference]. Saly/Dakar–Senegal 01–04 October 2014.

Situated Urban Political Ecology (SUPE) in African Cities Workshop, University of Pretoria / Antipode, Republic of South Africa. 22–26 September 2014.

University of Pretoria / SAIIA Global Economic Governance (GEG) Winter School, University of Pretoria / South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Pretoria, South Africa. 4–15 August 2014.

CODESRIA Training Workshop on Writing for Scholarly Publishing, CODESRIA, Kampala, Uganda, from 09 ¬-13 December, 2013.

6th South-South Institute on “Democratic renewal versus neoliberalism”. Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), International Development Economics Associates (IDEAs), and CODESRIA. Santiago de Chile, from 26 September – 03 October, 2013.

CODESRIA Gender Institute. Dakar–Senegal Between 17 June–06 July, 2013.

Residential School on “Governance & Development in Africa.” Organized by: School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) London University, Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Accra, Ghana. On 06–10 April 2013.


Guma, Karakire Prince (Forthcoming). “The Governance and Politics of Urban Space in the Postcolonial African City.” CODESRIA.

Guma, Karakire Prince (Forthcoming). “Beyond Rural Resilience: Reimaginations of Rurality in Mobile Money Times,” African Review of Economics and Finance.

Guma, Karakire Prince (In Press). “Business in the Urban Informal Economy – Barriers to Women Entrepreneurship in Uganda,” Journal of African Business.

Guma, Karakire Prince (2013). “Public-Sector Reform, E-Government and the Search for Excellence in Africa: Experiences from Uganda” Electronic Journal of e-Government, Vol. XI, No. 1, (pp: 241-253).

Guma, Karakire Prince (2013). “Revisiting the Phenomenon of Organization Management: African Art, and Why it Matters.” 2013. Available On the Peter Drucker Challenge Website: [].

(Invited) Talks

“Reimagining Rurality in Mobile Money Times: Three Insights.” University of California, Irvine (UCI). USA. 11 December 2014.

“The Governance and Politics of Urban Space in the Postcolonial African City.” Historisches Institut, im Rahmen des Forschungskolloquiums zur Geschichte, Lerchenweg 36, Raum F014, Bern, Switzerland. 15 October 2014.

“The Governance and Politics of Urban Space in the Postcolonial African City.” Third Swiss Researching Africa Days, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. 17 October 2014.