A two-day workshop on graduate research, organized by the Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences Technology and Innovation (PAUISTI), opened Thursday February 27, 2014 at the African Institute for Capacity Development (AICAD). The forum that brings together scholars and graduate students from Africa and beyond, seeks to foster graduate research to generate quality new knowledge to advance development in Africa.
Addressing the participants during the opening of the workshop, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga noted that “misplaced priorities and blurred roles among students and supervisors have often resulted in low impact research output in Africa”.
Consequently, Imbuga who is a professor of biochemistry challenged both students and supervisors to be diligent, ingenious and focused when approaching academic research. This, she opined, would result in usable and quality research findings, in line with the vision behind PAUISTI.
“As captured in the name of the Institute, we expect to see a number of innovations and patents in the course of your studies,” averred Imbuga, adding that, “you should also aspire to publish in high-end journals like Nature and Science.”
Prof. Imbuga also thanked Japan, which is the lead thematic partner in the implementation of PAUISTI for the support, which she said had seen the East African centre of excellence emerge as a pace setter for other regional centres in Africa.
PAUISTI Director, Prof. Gabriel Magoma challenged participants to crystallize their research project ideas and set down timelines that will enable the pioneering students to graduate in November 2014.
” Engage and learn from each other, and form wide research networks as we move to consolidate a framework that will be used for future research undertakings in this institute,” Prof. Magoma challenged the participants.
Prof. David Mulati who represented academic affairs division noted that while Africa has been on the news for wars and conflict, the story could change if Pan African University institutes effectively played their roles in generating knowledge that can help tackle persistent maladies facing the continent.
The pioneering PAUISTI students, drawn from 13 African countries, are enrolled in a number of programmes including: engineering, biotechnology and mathematics are slated to graduate with double degrees at the end of their graduate studies.
The opening session was also addressed by Prof. Grace Njoroge, Director, Board of Post Graduate Studies at JKUAT. Among the participants were: Hideo Eguchi and Tsunoda Manabu, both of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).