JKUAT Don Elected African Academy of Science Fellow

Prof. Abukutsa (right) explains to former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton (left) about the Traditional Vegetables

JKUAT scholar and top researcher has been elected as a fellow to the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). Prof. Mary Abukutsa from the department of Horticulture bagged the honour following her decades’ work as researcher, policy advisor and innovator.

Abukutsa who is serving as Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research Production and Extension, joins a battery of globally sourced accomplished scholars and researchers at the Pan African Organization that aims to promote sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation.

In his congratulatory message, AAS Executive Director, Nelson Torto thanked Prof. Abukutsa for showing interest in the organization, “and look forward to working closely with you in achieving the goals of the academy.”

Commenting on the election, Prof. Abukutsa said it was, a great honour and recognition of the work she had done as a scientist.

Deputy Lord Provost of Deputy Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Councillor Deidre Brock (right) honours Prof. Abukutsa with the Edinburgh Medal in April 2014

She added that the opportunity would allow her to mentor young scientists especially female scholars, while drawing from the inexhaustible pool of expertise at the academy to reposition the RPE division for excellence.

The don said the election will also enhance her capacity to promote transformational leadership as well as science and innovation policy at university, national and continental levels.

Prof. Abukutsa has demonstrated rare knack to combine science and social contributions; exemplified by her efforts find sustainable solutions to Africa’s double burden of malnutrition through sustainable conservation, production and utilization of leafy African Indigenous Vegetables (AIVs).

Dr. Murungi carrying out research in the laboratory /Photo Courtesy

Abukutsa becomes the latest JKUAT scholar to be elected to AAS. In 2016, Dr. Lucy Kananu Murungi, also from the department of Horticulture, was elected as an Affiliate Fellow to AAS. Murungi was tapped following her rigorous efforts to develop simple and affordable tools to manage pests by smallholder farmers in Africa.

The AAS Affiliates Program is to support institutional efforts to achieve professional growth of young and early-mid-career professionals into research leaders.