International Scientific Conference Opens at JKUAT

Prof. Okuda delivers the key note address

Prof. Okuda delivers the key note address

The 9th Scientific, Technological and Industrialization Conference, opened Thursday, November 13, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, with cutting edge innovations being showcased, besides the scholarly presentation and discourse on critical academic papers in diverse fields and topics.

The President of Okayama University (Japan) Prof. Kiyoshi Morita, in his key note address to the international gathering read by Prof. Kiyoshi Okuda observed that, “as JKUAT celebrates 20 years of autonomy, Okayama University has over the years, managed to maintain a solid relationship with JKUAT for the benefit of humanity.”

On behalf of Okayama University, he reaffirmed his continued support to JKUAT, and appealed to the scholars “to deliberate and address the challenges faced by the society on day to day basis.”

The scholar noted that, all developing countries were grappling with human and animal diseases, and lauded the choice of two subthemes of: engineering technologies, built environment and infrastructure for industrialization as well as Information and communication technology for development, as a positive step in achieving food security because the inclusion of the two topics presented viable contributions for further improvements.

Chief Food Technologist Everlyn Okoth explains the production of cactus products to the guests

Chief Food Technologist Everlyn Okoth explains the production of cactus products to the guests

Addressing participants, Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga said, since its inception in 2005, the conference has provided an opportunity for researchers and innovators to showcase and disseminate their research findings and innovations.

While research findings and innovations initiatives were critical, Prof. Imbuga expressed deep concern that these efforts which she said, “may not be sufficient to spur national socio-economic development.”

She therefore made a clarion call for the up-scaling of such innovations into viable business enterprises.

Prof Imbuga further challenged industry, entrepreneurs and investors, “to take advantage of the ideas and innovations for further development and possible commercialization.”

The Vice Chancellor also revealed that, “JKUAT has committed significant resources in the current financial year, to the tune of over 90 million shillings to support research and related activities”, adding that the university has partnered with the Government and other funding agencies to supplement the institution’s research budget which has, “in the last 10 years, attracted cumulative external funding of about shillings 1.29 billion,” She said.

Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension Prof. Esther Kahangi, underscored the significance of the conference especially the partnership with the key partners which has significantly raised the profile of the conference to global status, and encouraged all the participants to passionately engage in critical interrogation of issues, which she reiterated, “will go a long way in solving real problems in the world.”

Participants pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony

Participants pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony

The opening ceremony was also graced by among others; the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration Prof. Victoria Ngumi, Senior university officials, and scholars.

Key speakers during the first day included: Dr. Henry Wainwright, Director of The Real IPM Company Limited who made a presentation on: Innovative Agriculture; and Dr. Maria Noguer, Walker Institute for Climate System Research, University of Reading (UK), whose presentation attempted to seek answers to the weighty issues around climate change such as: Is climate changing? Is it due to human activities? And how is it likely to affect our weather in the future?

The conference, whose theme is: Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development, has attracted scholars from Kenya, Japan, and United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania.

A cross section of sub-themes including agriculture, engineering, climate change, energy and governance are the major talking points during the two -day conference that closes on Friday, November 14.

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