The academia have a role to play in providing policy guidance and direction to the country especially at a time when the ability to gather and analyse data has gained momentum at a fast pace that is second to none over the past decade. This is according to Prof. Bitange Ndemo who was speaking at JKUAT during this year’s Annual Professorial Luncheon, June 26, 2017.
“Organisations are increasingly setting up centres of excellence that cater for their entire organisational needs in data analytics. It is time professors leverage on the technological advancement and provide solutions that will curb unemployment and poverty in the country,” said, Prof. Bitange.
The Professor of Entrepreneurship encouraged the professors present to carry out multidisciplinary research especially in agriculture, saying, “by using this approach, we will be able to develop a proper and efficient supply chain that will be beneficial to both the farmer and the customer, providing economical empowerment to the farmer and customer satisfaction.”
By so doing, Prof. Bitange Ndemo was optimistic that it will invigorate the triple helix concept which has the potential for innovation and economic development in a knowledge society. He also observed that digitisation of agriculture will rally the youth to venture into agriculture hence tackling the peril of youth bulge and unemployment.
“We should not be laggards in the digital revolution. As institutions of higher learning, we should develop agricultural platform to make informed decisions as envisioned by both the needs of the farmer and consumer,” stated Prof. Bitange.
The University Chancellor, Prof. Geoffrey ole Maloiy, lauded the university professors for the mentorship they have provided to the students and encouraged them to be ambassadors of the University.
“I attended the Alumni convocation and was impressed by the plans and vision the alumni have for this University. It is only through proper mentorship that you will find the alumni of an institution willing and ready to invest in their alma mater,” Prof. Maloiy, observed.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga thanked the professors for their invaluable work they were doing both in the University and for the country at large.
“You are all aware that JKUAT is one of the most preferred learning institution among employers, parents and students. We were the most preferred university according to the 2017/18 KCSE placement results released by the Kenya University and Colleges Central Placement Services(KUCCPS),” Imbuga said.
Prof. Imbuga attributed the positive preference trajectory to the practical and industry oriented training and quality teaching by the academic staff and the rich and vibrant nexus between the local and global organisations and experts. JKUAT has a total of 127 professors: 49 full professors and 78 associate professors.
The professorial luncheon is an annual event in honour of JKUAT professors in appreciation of their outstanding academic and research achievement and service to the community. The luncheon is organised by the Professorial Committee comprising of Prof. Bernard Nyende, Prof. Elegwa Mukulu, Prof. Abiero Gariy, Dr. Esther Muoria and Dr. Churchill Saoke.