Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) have for the second time this year held a joint graduation ceremony in which 5,667 candidates drawn from 18 African countries were awarded degrees and diplomas.
The ceremony also saw the installation of Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi as JKUAT Vice Chancellor, following her elevation to the position by Education Cabinet Secretary, Amb. Amina Mohamed in August 2018.
While presiding over the event, acting Chancellor, Prof. Paul Njuki Kanyari noted that JKUAT researchers curved an innovative niche, putting the university ahead of the pack in patent fillings.
“As a result, JKUAT is currently developing incubation capacity to commercialize these patents and other innovations,” Prof. Kanyari noted.
Prof. Kanyari informed the congregation that the University had sealed a partnership with SevenSeas Technologies Ltd in which JKUAT is set to develop a Centre of Excellence in Healthcare Information Technology and related matters.
During the event, the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology, Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor noted that the continent still faced numerous socio-economic challenges that could mainly be addressed through harnessing science, technology and innovation.
She challenged the newly minted scholars to collectively deploy their knowledge, experience and energy; towards the realization of Africa’s development aspirations as codified in the AU transformative Agenda 2063.
Kiambu County Governor, Ferdinand Waititu said his administration was ready to work with JKUAT to provide sustainable solutions to challenges affecting Kiambu residents such as unemployment, ill health, food security and industrialization. Waititu added that his office was working to ease water pressure in the JKUAT and its environs.
Makueni County Governor who accompanied Governor Waititu to JKUAT, lauded the University for training his County officers in food processing and agricultural value addition.
Mrs. Felister Kivisi who spoke on behalf of JKUAT Council said the University had intensified collaboration with partners as a way of addressing prevailing challenges like shortage of teaching and research facilities in the wake of increased student population.
She commended the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for supporting the renovation and extension of the Agricultural Laboratory Building, a facility that is slated to strengthen agriculture teaching and research at JKUAT.
On her part, JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said the University was implementing the collegiate system of management that devolves operations to the college level.
The approach, Prof. Ngumi added, would improve governance, increase efficiency of operations by facilitating activity-based costing while enhancing bottom-up performance-based reward system.
The event that marked the 32nd Graduation Ceremony for JKUAT and 4th for the Pan African University saw the continental graduate training university present a total of 51 graduands, five of them at doctoral level and the remaining 46 were conferred with masters degrees.