Students and staff from JKUAT and the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) got a chance to watch award winning projects of the 2016 Japan Media Arts Festival. The artistic productions were staged as part of JKUAT Multimedia and Development Festival (MDF), 2017. It was the first time, an Africawide audience was treated to the Japanese cultural and technological finesse expressed through the media.
The productions that covered areas such as cognitive science, dance, and animation were tailored to expose students to multidisciplinary approach to problem solving; with media and communication being the anchor.
The screening was made possible through AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project; a JICA led initiative that is presently supporting the implementation of PAUSTI which is hosted by JKUAT. The enterprise aims at promoting African innovation by using local resources, knowledge and wisdom within a framework of industry-academia collaboration.
Addressing the participants during the opening ceremony, Dean School of Business, Dr. Margaret Oloko said the event provided an avenue for students to learn and network with industry players besides showcasing their innovations.
Echoing the event’s theme: the Linking innovation to sustainable development, Dr. Oloko who represented the College of Humanities Principal Prof. Elegwa Mukhulu at the event added that JKUAT emphasized the culture of creativity among students while forging close working relationships with industry.
It was the second time the School of Communications and Development Studies (SCDS) was staging the Festival, the first having taken place in 2013.
AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project Chief Advisor, Prof. Manabu Tsunoda said Japan and Africa had a unique opportunity to harness the potential and innovativeness of the young people for socio-economic progress.
The video screening was the first stage in the 2017 edition of MDF with second stage slated for May 24/25. At the second stage, students from colleges and universities in Kenya are expected to battle it out with entries in photojournalism; public relations and advertising; development communication; audio-visual production and print media.
The second leg will also feature essay writing competition by high school students on the role of young people in peace building and national cohesion. Also lined up is speech contest featuring English, French and Japanese.
Dean SCDS, Dr. Hellen Mberia said all the activities were aimed at nudging young people to engage in innovations in the field of communications that can support the country’s development bid.
The theme of the festival is Refocusing Communication for Desired Change, and the opening ceremony was attended by students and staff from JKUAT, PAUSTI and a number of Japanese nationals.