Kericho County Governor, Prof. Paul Chepkwony has challenged universities and professionals to work closely with counties to realize development aspirations of the country. He said the counties are the new frontiers of development with abundant opportunities to be tapped.
Speaking Friday June 19, when he delivered a public lecture on research and innovation at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Prof. Chepkwony said counties were yearning for value addition and other modern technologies that could foster agricultural productivity at the grassroots.
In the ICT sector, Prof. Chepkwony said his administration had already erected masts in the six sub-counties that would ensure access of internet through Wi-Fi. His county, he added, was keen to engage application developers to ensure ease of access of essential services like Artificial Insemination to local farmers.
Putting a strong case for locally grown solutions, Governor Chepkwony challenged Kenyans to be ingenious and proactively develop sustainable solutions to local problems. He decried the misguided lack of confidence and trust in local products and concepts by Kenyans, saying time had come to infuse a new worldview that emphasizes intrinsic capacity to innovate and consume local products.
Prof. Chepkwony who holds over ten patents, urged local researchers and innovators to patent their inventions in order to stem massive loss of intellectual property rights to other countries. Intellectual property, the Governor added, was a key element in sustainable socio-economic advancement.
The organic chemistry professor who is also a JKUAT alumnus was speaking at JKUAT as part of activities to commemorate the University’s 20 years of training, research and innovation anniversary. He presented a bursary cheque of Ksh. 536, 840 to the University in favour of a section students from Kericho County learning at JKUAT.
While receiving the Governor to JKUAT, acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo said Prof. Chepkwony was a distinguished alumnus whose contribution to society was worth emulating.
The Governor was accompanied to JKUAT by his five county executives, four of whom are alumni of the University. The public lecture that was also addressed by Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, was attended by a host of staff and students.