A three day scientific conference that has attracted over 140 participants drawn from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Japan, Germany and the United States opened at JKUAT Wednesday November 17, 2010. Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Industrialization Permanent Secretary, Dr. Karanja Kibicho, underscored the importance of research to Kenya’s development goals and urged the country’s top academics to ensure their research findings found their way into the country’s policy making machinery. Dr. Karanja told the conference his Ministry was in the final stages of crafting an Industrialization Policy to guide the country’s industrialization process and called on universities to take advantage of the document to ensure their research findings made a positive contribution to Kenya’s industrialization dream.
Dr. Karanja, a mechanical engineer, further informed the participants to take advantage of his Ministry which hosts key institutions crucial in industrial operations such as the Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Accreditation Services, Kenya Industrial Estates and Kenya Industrial Property Institute, urging the researchers to take full advantage of the institutions by ensuring their innovations were protected and meet international standards. The PS as well advised researchers to observe stringiest ethics as they went about their work.
Welcoming participants, the Vice Chancellor Prof Mabel Imbuga said the annual conference, now in its fifth year, has served the University well particularly as a platform for JKUAT to showcase its contributions to the people of Kenya. The Vice Chancellor noted that JKUAT had made major strides in research and innovation despite inadequate funding to the sector.
And Prof Esther Kahangi, the University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, told the opening session that the conference had realized remarkable achievements since its inception, emphasizing that it had raised JKUAT status at the international level. The forum was also addressed by Prof. Francis Njeruh and Prof. Romnaus Odhaimbo, JKUAT Deputy Vice Chancellors in charge of Administration, Planning and Development, and Academic Affairs, respectively.