Iran in a Bid to Push Nanotechnology in the Continent

Dr. Barmaki addresses the JKUAT Team

The Islamic Republic of Iran in collaboration with the African Union, is in the process of establishing a Masters of Science programme in Nanotechnology domiciled at the Pan African University (PAU).

Speaking at JKUAT, the host University of the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) when he paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, the Iranian Ambassador to Kenya, Dr. Jafar Barmaki said his country was determined to explore areas of collaboration with regards to nanotechnology.

To catalyse the capacity of nanotechnology in Kenya, Dr. Barmaki said his hope was to involve the universities in the country including JKUAT and University of Nairobi in the establishment of nanotechnology postgraduate programmes.

According to the Ambassador, the collaboration will see the Iranian Government assist the institutions formulate postgraduate programmes in nanotechnology, equip nanotechnology laboratories, offer short courses in Iran, and bring professors in the field of nanotechnology in a bid to build capacity in the field and raise awareness about nanoscience.

“With the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the globe and all stakeholders on board, we are ready to start the course virtually if need be,” said Dr. Barmaki.

After the completion of their Masters programme, Dr. Barmaki noted, the students will be offered PhD scholarships to further their studies with the hope that their knowledge is escalated to the industry, thereby increasing efficiency and improving the quality of human life.

While acknowledging that Iran was a giant in nanotechnology, Prof. Ngumi welcomed the collaboration and assured the Ambassador of JKUAT’s total cooperation in the implementation of the programme.

“With PAU’s reach in the continent, the proper adoption of nanotechnology will help Africa achieve her potential in areas such as medicine, agriculture and manufacturing, for the betterment of the continent,” said Prof. Ngumi.

Following the visit of the former Ambassador in February 2019, Prof. Ngumi informed Dr. Barmaki that JKUAT had already developed a Master of Science programme in Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and that the first batch of students are expected to begin their studies in September 2020.

Prof. Ngumi (right) bids farewell to the ambassador

The Director PAUSTI, Dr. Gabriel Magoma, assured the Ambassador that the programme will benefit a huge number of students considering that PAUSTI admits students across the continent. Currently, the Institution has students from 38 African Union member states.

The meeting was attended by Mr.  Morteza Shapouri from the Embassy, Deputy Vice Chancellors, Prof. Bernard Ikua (Administration), Prof. Robert Kinyua (Academic Affairs), Prof. Mary Abukutsa (Research, Production and Extension), and Prof. Jackson Kwanza (Finance). Others were College Principals, Prof. David Mburu (College of Agriculture and Natural Resources) and Prof. David Mulati (College of Pure and Applied Sciences).

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