The inaugural School for Human Resource Development (SHRD) Research Conference opened Thursday September 12, 2013 at the University’s main campus. The conference themed: emerging issues in entrepreneurship, business development and social sciences in a growing economy, brought together graduate students, faculty and practitioners from the school and beyond.
The initiative is part of the wider university endeavour to create opportunities for student and scholars to share their research findings not only with contemporaries within the scientific community but also with the wider public. Over 100 papers covering various sub-themes like: leadership and governance, micro-finance, globalization, and procurement will be presented during the two day event.
Giving a key note address on emerging issues in business development in a growing economy, Equity Bank’s Chief Operations officer, Dr. Julius Kipngetich underscored the critical role of technology in developing and driving traditional and modern markets. Dr. Kipngetich urged universities to establish incubation centres to foster innovation and creativity of young people before they transit into the job market.
The Equity Bank official further opined that while Kenya possesses the most educated workforce in Africa, the country’s growth has been curtailed by poor and non-visionary leadership.
“It is not due to lack of technical expertise for development or natural resources or international markets that Kenya is experiencing slackened growth. It is poor leadership,” revealed Kipngetich.
For Kenya to move forward, Kipngetich argues, there is an urgent need to inject values, leadership and governance practices into the country’s education system instead of concentrating on producing mass managers.
Speaking on emerging issues in entrepreneurship in Kenya, JKUAT’s Prof. Henry Bwisa challenged the government to enact relevant policies and guidelines to streamline, nurture and strengthen entrepreneurship in the country.
Prof. Bwisa also urged universities to “re-orient teaching of entrepreneurship by embracing experiential teaching.” This, he explained, would bridge the often missing link between entrepreneurial practice and pedagogy.
The Dean SHRD, Prof. Elegwa Mukulu challenged the participants to actively engage in constructive discourses during the conference, learning from the experience of industry players who graced the event. The research initiatives of the graduate students he added was instrumental in merging theory and practice in their disciplines.