Researchers Refine Strategy to Support the Big 4 Agenda

(L-R)Prof. Mburu and Prof. Gichira listen to Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kinyua (right) as he makes his contribution at the workshop.

A team of researchers have earnestly embarked on modalities geared towards refining what could be termed as institutional strategies through development of specific proposals for funding, aimed at supporting the Government’s implementation of the Big Four Agenda.

Drawn from the Colleges of Engineering; Human Resource Development and Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as Nairobi CBD Campus, the participants, organized around 8 research teams focusing on specific project proposals, held a two-day workshop at SAJOREC organized by the Grants Management Directorate to  discuss and draw collaboration modalities, implementation plans and determine resource needs and timelines.

The researchers further explored development of funding frameworks as well as identifying donors to pitch their ideas to.

Addressing the research teams, Wednesday, February 12, 2020, where the teams met to map and refine the JKUAT strategy for the Big Four Agenda, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi said, “the JKUAT Strategic Plan (2018-2022) charged all the Colleges of the university to develop and implement at least two (2) projects that support the implementation of the Big Four Agenda per year.”

Dr. Njenga highlights the research projects NCBD Campus is focusing on.

Prof. Ngumi noted that she was gratified the idea had come to fruition, with the latest development, adding, the achievement of Kenya Vision 2030 launched in 2008, covering the Period 2008-2030 has been steered by the 1st and 2nd Medium Plan.

The 3rd Medium Plan, she stated, “focuses on issues that have the greatest impact on the well-being of all Kenyans, namely the Big Four Agenda, Food Security, Affordable Housing, Manufacturing and Universal Health Care for all Kenyans.”

Prof. Ngumi said in remarks read on her behalf by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Prof. Robert Kinyua.

The Vice Chancellor recalled that when she took over the institution’s leadership, she outlined her vision for JKUAT.  “One of the aspects I raised was that My Vision for JKUAT was anchored on research, innovation and entrepreneurship. I emphasized that research and innovation were very critical components in the attainment of the four pillars of the Government’s development agenda.”

The Vice Chancellor was therefore, particularly pleased to see the diverse nature of proposals presented at the workshop, further noting,  “I have a strong conviction, they are innovative and will make a significant contribution towards fostering industry based research and innovation.”

Prof. Mburu outlines research proposals the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources is working on.

Citing   proposals geared towards enabling the Government adopt building and construction innovations and technologies that utilize affordable bricks, these she stated, spoke directly to the government’s objective of providing affordable housing to over 500,000 Kenyans.

She encouraged the researchers to continue to explore the scope for increasing financing from alternative sources for their proposals and identify avenues for formulating an enhanced resource mobilization strategy.

She appealed to the various teams to pitch the innovative ideas to respective Government ministries. “I encourage you to begin the ground work with the ministries involved so that we can share and sell our ideas to them.

Prof. Ngumi asked participants to provide proposed work schedules, financing frameworks and the way forward, assuring them of support.

 Prof. Robert Gichira highlighted the key aspects of the training workshop, noting, the researchers “have been working separately and have come together to share experiences.”

He appealed to Management to encourage higher participation and urged CBD campuses to emulate Nairobi CBD Campus which had come up with a number of project proposals.

On his part, Prof Daniel Sila urged his colleagues to “finalize the proposals which he noted, were at various stages of development, in readiness for submission.”

The Director, Grants Management, Prof. Naomi Maina, thanked the teams for their commitment to source for funding from non-traditional sources, and assured the teams that the Grants Office was open and accessible to all.

From Left: Dr Messo, Dr. (Eng.) Kituu and Dr. Gathenya, follow workshop proceedings.

The areas of focus include fertilizer manufacturing, entrepreneurship, business startups, human resources,  empowering Jua Kali artisans, decent low cost housing among others.

The participants included; Prof. David Mburu, Dr. Peter Njenga, Dr, Karanja Ngugi, Dr. Samson Nyangau, Dr. (Eng.) Gareth Kituu, Dr. James Messo, Dr. Joyce Nzulwa, Dr. Jane Gathenya, Dr. Mathew Gicheha, and staff from Grants Management Directorate.

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