Academia Key to Kenya’s Development Agenda

Prof. Oduol makes a point during his address

Prof. Oduol makes a point during his address

Professors have a crucial role to play in developing differentiated and effective academic systems, and in making it possible for the country to join the global knowledge society, Prof. Francis Oduol has said. Oduol who is the Vice Chancellor of Technical University of Kenya made the remarks, Tuesday July 28 during the annual luncheon for professors at JKUAT.

Prof Oduol, added that as those occupying the apex of the academic hierarchy, professors are central to the success of any knowledge-based economy. He added that professors should be committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in a range of disciplines and fields. He reckons that this will help in advancing the national knowledge economy and foster the development of the country.

Prof Oduol acknowledged that Kenya faced many social, political and economic challenges and urged the professors to engage in applied research that can provide solutions to the many socio-economic drawbacks Kenya faces.

“I urge you to collaborate with other professors in the various universities in Kenya especially in research. This will not only foster development of the country but will improve our universities’ reputation and competitiveness on the international stage,” said Prof Oduol.

Echoing the words of Prof Oduol, Africaqua Chief Executive Office, David Kuria, agreed that there were a lot of challenges facing the country especially in the rural areas. He equally challenged the professors to escalate their research and come up with effective and sustainable solutions to these challenges.

A section of professors at the 2015 JKUAT professors' luncheon

A section of professors at the 2015 JKUAT professors’ luncheon

Kuria encouraged the professors to engage with the government especially the regulatory bodies in informing the development policies of the country. He also said that it is a high time the academia, policy makers and industry came together to provide answers to the country’s pressing concerns.

“It saddens me that Kenyan citizens are still dying because of basic problems such as poor hygiene and inaccessibility of safe water,” said Kuria.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Mabel Imbuga thanked the two guests for gracing the luncheon and encouraged the professor to continue aspiring and mentoring the younger members of staff to lead the way in research. The luncheon was also addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research, Production and Extension) Prof. Esther Kahangi, and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration) Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi.

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