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Emily Achieng’ Akuno

Emily Achieng’ Akuno is Professor of Music at the Technical University of Kenya with teaching and university administration experience at Kenyatta University in Kenya, University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, Maseno University and The Technical University of Kenya. Currently she serves as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Academic Affairs at The Co-operative University of Kenya.

Emily trained as a performer-educator in Kenya, USA and the UK.  Her research interests veer towards cultural relevance in music education.  She is the editor and a contributing author of the (2019) Routledge published Music Education in Africa: Concept, Process and Practice.  Other publications include Kenyan Music: An education perspective; Issues in Music Education in Kenya: a handbook for teachers as well as book chapters and journal articles.  She is a former President of the International Music Council (IMC) and current President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) as well as Chair of the Music Education Research Group – Kenya (MERG-Kenya).

Our Keynote Speakers

Saidah Rastam

Datin Saidah Rastam was trained as a barrister (Gray’s Inn) and has worked as a litigation lawyer, music producer, composer and lecturer. Works include M! The Opera (KL), combining Malay traditional instruments and western orchestra, Spirits (St Petersburg) featuring Peking and Cantonese opera singers and Pulau Antara (Tokyo). She has been music director for numerous shows including the launch of the Petronas Twin Towers and Cabaret at Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre.


Malam Terang Bulan, her show on the origins of Malaysia’s national anthem, was staged at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in 2014 and again in 2015. Under a Senior Fellowship from Khazanah Nasional Berhad, her book on Malaya’s music, Rosalie and Other Love Songs, was published in two editions in 2014 and 2017. She is project director of Melaka In Fact, an initiative which researches the early history and cultural influences of this region.

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