The move to establish the first botanical garden in Kenya is in the latest stages of actualization following the visit to JKUAT, by a high level technical team from China’s Ministry of Commerce and the Chinese Academy of Sciences to conduct feasibility exercise, expected to culminate in the construction of the multi-billion Sino-African Biodiversity Research Centre at JKUAT.
The center, the second one in Sub-Saharan Africa, is aimed at fostering plant biodiversity conservation research in Africa. In a meeting, Monday December 10, 2012 chaired by Prof. Esther Kahangi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, JKUAT and Chinese technical teams reviewed landscape and architectural designs of the proposed project.
Besides fostering biodiversity research and conservation in the region, the Vision 2030 flagship project to sit on 40 acres of land with nine garden themes, is slated to be a major recreational center, with modern conference facilities.
Among the eight proposed themes of the garden are: an Orchard and Rose gardens, Africa and Chinese themed gardens, Aquatic plants garden and a bamboo garden. The gardens will also be home to indigenous and endangered species with medicinal and ornamental and commercial values.
The project that has received the nod of the governments of Kenya and China through the respective ministries of Finance and Commerce is set to enhance bilateral cooperation between the two countries, a position that was reinforced by Prof. Kahangi.
“Academia has over the years played a central role in fostering interstate relations, bringing together countries. This project will equally play this critical role between Kenya and China”, noted Prof. Kahangi.
Speaking on behalf of the Chinese team, Huang Jin commended the work already done by the technical teams and expressed commitment and optimism to realize the project, reiterating that it is on course.
The session was also addressed by the University Deputy Vice Chancellors; Prof. Francis Njeruh and Prof. Romanus Odhiambo among others.