Around the globe, manufacturing has been vital in economic growth especially in developing countries. However in the last two decades, the importance of manufacturing in these countries has diminished leading to premature de-industrialisation and Kenya is no exception.
To reignite the manufacturing agenda as envisioned by the four pillars of the Government’s development agenda, Prof. Micheni Japheth Ntiba attests that the academia and especially the professors need to lead the discourse on manufacturing.
“Professors must take the lead in the manufacturing agenda. You have to guide the government and relevant stakeholders in formulating ideas, developing tools and educating the next generation on the importance of manufacturing,” said Prof. Ntiba.
The Principal Secretary, State Department for Fisheries, Aquaculture and the Blue Economy was speaking at JKUAT during the Annual Professorial Luncheon, June 18, 2019 where he indicated that manufacturing was vital in curbing unemployment that has bedeviled the country.
Prof. Ntiba encouraged the professors to come down from their ivory tower and collaborate with external stakeholders in industry, government, international organizations and NGOs to ensure that their work is impactful and valuable to the society.
“As professors we need to be simple and accessible by the people in our society for change to happen. We are key in catalyzing industrialisation as well as characterizing its impact through the research we undertake,” opined Prof. Ntiba.
The Fisheries and Marine Biologist also urged the professors to take advantage of the emerging fields such as the blue economy and ICT and collaborate with relevant stakeholders to stimulate manufacturing and capacity building therefore creating wealth and improving the economy of the country.
On her part, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi appreciated the professors for their invaluable work both in the University and for the country at large saying, professors and researchers are change agents.
While acknowledging that universities create a natural upsurge of intellectual wealth and knowledge production, Prof. Ngumi urged the professors to continue writing proposals and delve into research to position JKUAT as a research based University.
JKUAT has a total of 127 professors: 49 full professors and 78 associate professors. The professorial luncheon is an annual event in honour of JKUAT professors in appreciation of their outstanding academic and research achievement and service to the community. The luncheon is organised by the Professorial Committee comprising of Prof. Bernard Nyende, Prof. Elegwa Mukulu, Prof. David Mburu, Prof. Abiero Gariy, Dr. Esther Muoria, Dr. Joseph Obwogi and Dr. Churchill Saoke.