A social-economic transformative initiative between Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and the County Government of Lamu has been formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding at JKUAT Main Campus, Wednesday, February 19, 2014.
According to the partnership documents signed by the Lamu County Deputy Governor Hon. Eric Mugo and the JKUAT Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga, the joint venture will see the two institutions collaborate in: exploitation of agricultural potential and food security, irrigation, revival and upgrading of existing polytechnics, capacity building to impact on effective service delivery, entrepreneurship and enterprise development interventions for county development among other areas of mutual interest.
Speaking during the launch of the MoU, Hon. Mugo who led the Lamu County delegation, noted the critical contribution of JKUAT towards social and economic transformation in Kenya and further reaffirmed the Lamu County Government’s commitment “to work towards sustainable social and economic development.”
While commending the team that actualized the partnership, the Deputy Governor acknowledged the “challenge of identifying partners who could implement projects that could impact on the people of Lamu” and expressed confidence in JKUAT leadership which he said, “will no doubt lead to fruitful deliberations and successful outcomes.”
Prof. Imbuga welcomed the collaboration saying “JKUAT had the technology and the expertise that could make it happen” and was ready to help the Lamu County Government in tapping and exploiting the rich agricultural potential in Lamu in order to address food security in the county.”
The Vice Chancellor enumerated partnership areas that could go a long way to benefit Lamu residents, ranging from “value addition, information communication technology, innovation and technology transfer, entrepreneurship among other areas.”
Prof. Imbuga also underscored her institution’s eagerness to jointly explore potential areas of mutual interests in marine engineering and sea transport for the development of Lamu County and appealed to the Lamu Government to “consider ways of enhancing and impacting on the quality of marine engineering training in Kenya through the provision of a sea front to the University.”
Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension Prof. Esther Kahangi lauded the initiative and courage of the Lamu County Government and reminded them that: “the counties that will be successful are those which will uplift the livelihoods of their people.”
Apart from cashew nuts and coconut farming, Lamu County is famous for its high quality and quantity cotton production in Kenya.
Lamu leaders who attended the function included County Executive in charge of Communication and Information Communication Technology Ms. Grace Mburu; Members of County Assembly for Faza and Lamu Wards Hon. Abbas Nagu and Hon. Monicah Njambi respectively, while JKUAT was represented by among others: Principal College of Engineering Technology Prof. Bernard Ikua, Director of Westlands Campus Dr. Mike Iravo, Head of Linkages Dr. Muikamba Kaibui and Chair, Mechanical Engineering Department Dr Hiram Mucheke.