The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will extend additional support to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in order to strengthen its research and innovation capacity.
Speaking during a courtesy call to the University’s Vice Chancellor, the new JICA Chief Representative in Kenya, Mr. Katsutoshi Komori added that JKUAT had emerged as an important institution in promoting close collaborations between Kenya and Japan, especially in the higher education sector.
The JICA representative noted that supporting JKUAT would enable it to effectively host the African Union fronted Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI).
When JKUAT won the bid to host PAUSTI in 2011, Japan agreed to be the lead thematic partner in the institute’s implementation. Consequently, JICA has been supporting research, and innovation activities in the two institutions under the auspices of the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project from 2014.
Welcoming the official to JKUAT, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Ngumi thanked JICA for the support to JKUAT spanning over three decades. She lauded the agency for improving research and innovation environment in JKUAT through staff training, infrastructure development and research funding.
Prof. Ngumi informed the JICA representative that PAUSTI had since operationalization in 2012, admitted 563 students drawn from 43 African countries.
The Vice Chancellor added that AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project had supported over 197 research projects by students and staff of JKUAT and PAUSTI. A total of 411 publications in peer reviewed journals, had also been realised through the Project, she added.
The JICA Chief further welcomed the participation of Prof. Ngumi in the upcoming Tokyo International Conference on African Development, set for August 28-30, 2019 in Yokohama City, Japan.
Mr. Katsutoshi also called for closer collaboration between JKUAT and Japanese companies as a way of fostering academia-industry partnerships.
The JICA Chief was accompanied to JKUAT by JICA Project Formulation Advisor, Ms. Mika Okamura. The meeting was also attended by Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua and AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Chief Advisor, Prof. Hiroshi Koaze.