On Friday 23rdJune 2017, the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) Alumni Association interim committee paid a courtesy call the Africa-ai-Japan Task force at JKUAT Engineering and Technology building. The aim of the meeting was to visit Mr. Yosef Hamba, one of the PAUSTI Alumni (a graduate of Masters in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in the pioneer class of 2014). The meeting further sought to identify possible areas of collaborations between the two entities. In attendance from the Africa-ai-Japan Project were Prof. Manabu Tsunoda (Chief Advisor), Prof. Shinjiro Shiomi (JICA Biotechnology Expert)and Ms. Sachiko Oda (JICA Expert and Project Coordinator/ICT). PAUSTI Alumni Association was presented by Mr. Gavamukulya Yahaya (Interim Chair Alumni Association and PhD Candidate Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, from Uganda), Mr. Edwel Tafara Mharakurwa (General Secretary and PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering, from Zimbabwe), Ms. Hannah Ngugi (Finance Secretary and PhD Candidate Civil Engineering, from Kenya), and Mr. Isaac Oteyo (PAUSTI ICT Section and Coordinator Alumni Office, from Kenya). It is the Association’s mandate to make routine visits to Alumni members, see how they are progressing and assess results of PAUSTI scholarship.
Prof. Manabu welcomed the delegation and commended the PAUSTI Alumni Association for the efforts expressed to work together with Africa-ai-Japan Task Force to accelerate innovation and research in Africa. The task force was established to invigorate African Innovation. The meeting provided an opportune forum to provide feedback on the monthly research seminars organized by Africa-ai-Japan where PAUSTI students and Alumni have been key participants.
In his remarks, the PAUSTI Alumni Association Chair, Mr. Gavamukulya appreciated Africa-ai-Japan task force providing opportunities to PAUSTI alumni. PAUSTI Alumni Association being a body that brings together all the Alumni of PAUSTI in order to continue with realization of the goals of PAU and PAUSTI, it was committed to nurturing quality and taking excellence to the next level. The Alumni comprise of 55 members with some working and others studying in 18 difference countries within Africa and the rest of the world. Another cadre of 42 students will be graduating on Tuesday, 27 June 2017 and will join the PAUSTI Alumni Association.
On the possible areas of collaboration with the Africa-ai-Japan task force, Prof. Manabu highlighted the existing opportunities which include sharing of existing, provision of grants for innovative research in Africa, visits to other PAUSTI campuses across Africa. These opportunities will be pursued further to achieve the real benefits from the collaborations.