Collaboration between JKUAT, JICA, Kyushu University Japan, KenGen and Geothermal Development Company is one that in the long run shall bring to being a socio-economic mega impact if the goals and the objectives of the first Forum in Kenya and Africa on Geothermal Technology is anything to go by.
The Forum was a result of various meetings and discussions between JKUAT’s college of Engineering led by the Principal Prof. Bernard Ikua, KenGen led by Assistant Manager in Charge of Resource Management, Mr. Cyrus Karingithi and Prof. Ryuichi Itoi of Kyushu University. The discussions majored on solutions on energy research with specifics on renewable energy and precisely Geothermal Technology. It is in the discussions that the idea of the forum and plans to start short courses on the same was floated and hence the Forum held in JKUAT between 13th September 2017 and 15th September 2017 with an excursion in Olkaria Naivasha on the 16th September 2017.
The forum commenced with a conference on 13th September 2017 at JKUAT’s Assembly Hall which Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, DVC Academic Affairs representing the Vice Chancellor opened officially.
In her speech, the Vice Chancellor stressed the need to have an inter-stakeholders input in building national capacity to sustainably tap geothermal resources with which JKUAT took the initiative to provide the platform for the same by hosting the forum which is the first in Kenya and Africa.
With attendance cutting across Professors, Academicians, Students and Geothermal Industry players both from Japan, Kenya and other parts of Africa, the Forum had remarks from representatives of the sponsors namely: Prof. Koichiro Watanabe Vice President, Kyushu University, Mr. Cyrus Karingithi representing KenGen AG. MD Rebecca Miano, Miyata Chiyoko, JICA’s Special Advisor and Johnson Nchoe, CEO Geothermal Development Company. Additionally, there were keynote speeches and other special presentations.
The antecedent of the conference was a two-day training at JKUAT’s iPIC Exhibition Hall by various experts in the Geothermal Technology field. Both academicians from Japan and industrial technical experts from KenGen and GDC gave lectures to the trainees that attended who included students and staff from government parastatals and public universities including staff from JKUAT. The well attended training was vigorous and intensive with interesting real hand Geothermal Technology being applied in the field explained with examples of how they have been implemented. At the end of the training, all the participants were feted with attendance certificates with the organizers promising a more advanced short course in future Forums with trainees having to sit for exams on technics learnt.
Conclusively, the Forum, having fulfilled the objective of development of capacity for exploration and utilization of Geothermal resources for sustainable development, was officially closed by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga who lauded all the organizers including JKUAT college of engineering, KenGen, GDC and Kyushu University Japan for the well-planned forum and stressed on the need to go the renewable energy way saying it was the future in the field of energy generation. She exuded confidence that the MoUs signed between JKUAT and the forum sponsors and organizers KenGen and Kyushu University on the Geothermal Technology would culminate to real solutions that could be used to solve challenges and needs of Geothermal Technology and academic content that could be used to teach on Geothermal Technology. The final activity of the Forum was an excursion at Olkaria Geothermal field in Naivasha on the 16th September 2017 that was sponsored by JKUAT. Its aim was to make the participants of the Forum and the Training to have the actual picture of Geothermal Technology application in Kenya.