JKUAT’s increasing role in deepening the transformational agenda of “taking the university to the people“ through devolved units of governance at the grassroots has gone a notch higher following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology Enterprises Ltd (JKUATES) and the County Government of Nyeri, Tuesday, June 17, 2014.
Speaking during the formalization ceremony at the County Government Headquarters, Nyeri County Governor Mr. Nderitu Gachagua welcomed the partnership saying, “As a county, we want to take advantage of JKUAT’s well placed position to assist the county in various areas of engagement particularly value addition in coffee, tea, horticultural products, as well as widening the county government’s revenue base.”
Hon. Gachagua noted that although the county was a leading producer of horticultural products, the country was currently dealing with raw crops, a fact he said, called for “the progression from raw crops to value addition” so that Nyeri farmers could benefit from their labour.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga who led the JKUAT delegation that included: JKUATES Managing Director Ms Winfred Karugu; Professors Aggrey Nyende, Martin Obanda, Robert Kinyua, and Dr. Karanja Kabare, underscored JKUAT’s commitment to work with the county government to “deliver on its key mandate to the people of Nyeri by leveraging on their collective strengths.”
Prof. Imbuga and her team highlighted the university’s strengths in areas such as “biotechnology, value addition, renewable energy, governance and capacity building,” among others, which she said could be explored for mutual benefit of JKUAT and the people of Nyeri County.
The formalization of the partnership comes in the heels of the County Government of Nyeri’s expression of interest in collaborative assistance from JKUATES in the form of developing a county transformation plan involving human capital development, process and technology improvements, as well as in agro-based consulting that would impact the overall county development.
Under the MoU, the two parties will cooperate and collaborate on provision of consulting services on Agro policies, policy reviews, macroeconomic studies and international benchmarking; strategy development and evaluation; performance measures and monitoring; information communication technology (software development , hardware assembly, system and process design); human resource management, marketing, branding and communication strategies, architectural services, engineering, business process management, women empowerment and youth initiatives among others.
JKUATES is a subsidiary company owned by JKUAT whose vision is “to be Africa’s leading provider of training, production and consultancy in emerging technologies to improve livelihoods.”
Nyeri leaders who were present during the function were: County Secretary Ms. Wamboi Kimathi; Chief of Staff Mr. Simon Wachira; Legal Advisor Ms. Carol Ndumia; Economic Advisor Mr. Danson Ngumo; Finance and Planning Executive Mr. Martin Wamwea and Public Administration and Communication Executive Priscilla Muthoni.