The Principal Secretary (PS), Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Mr. Jerome Ochieng has lauded Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT)’s commitment to create and disseminate knowledge and innovation outputs.
Citing the role played by the University in providing the digital equipment used during the recently concluded national census, national Digital Learning Programme and the Taifa Laptop Project, which he noted, are some of the initiatives that have defined “JKUAT’s collaboration with the Government and especially the ministry of ICT on various platforms.”
Mr. Ochieng further explained, the two innovations have become popular nationally. “I am certain, JKUAT and my ministry will continue exploring more viable avenues for cooperation…” he said.
The PS said in his opening remarks to participants attending the 14th JKUAT International Scientific, Technological and Industrialization Conference and Exhibition, where he was represented by the Ministry’s Senior Deputy Secretary, Mr. Abraham Ondeng, as the Chief Guest, and challenged “researchers to explore useful networks that will facilitate the up-scaling of research findings to higher levels.”
He also appealed to researchers to work closely with policy makers so that the research findings could be help the Government by informing policy formulation aimed at addressing Kenya’s socio-economic development challenges.
“I am confident, through this forum, my ministry will gather useful information on vital areas of cooperation with research stakeholders,” said Mr. Ochieng.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said, the conference serves as a rich platform for researchers and scholars to interact and share their findings with peers and other stakeholders, noting, it was also in tandem with the institution’s vision to be “A University of Global Excellence in Training, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Development.”
The conference, running under the theme: Leveraging on Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development, Prof. Ngumi stated, has attracted over a hundred papers covering thematic areas such as physical, medical and social sciences, agriculture, environment and technology.
The papers, Vice Chancellor added, “provide possible solutions to various challenges afflicting society such as food insecurity and poor nutrition; climate change; health burden; processing and manufacturing technologies; application of information and communication technologies.”
The thematic areas Prof. Ngumi further explained, “have been identified by many developing countries as key focus issues in their development agenda, and the same was reflective in Kenya’s Big Four Agenda of affordable housing, access to universal health, food security and manufacturing.”
Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension Division, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, reiterated one of her Division’s objective of “sharing ideas and innovation outputs, noting “the conference is one of the forums for engaging the research community, policy makers and industry, among others.”
The opening session attended by among others, Prof. Elijah Biamah, former acting Vice Chancellor, University of Eldoret and Prof. Richard Mibey, former Vice Chancellor, Moi University, saw two researchers from Finland, Prof. Tuula Tuhkanen and Dr. Eeva-Liisa Viskari, making key note presentations.
Others who spoke include the Chair, of the conference organizing committee Prof. Abiero Gariy, and Prof. Martin Obanda.
The conference which ends, Friday, November 15, 2019 accords internal and external innovators and researchers and industry, the opportunity to collaborate, network and showcase their outputs.
JKUAT researchers and innovators are showcasing an array of recent research, innovation and technological and creative outputs as seen at the Students Talent Development Association (STADA) exhibition both where students drawn from College of Human Resource Development, School of Architecture and Built Environment also displayed their artistic sophistication and appreciation of art.