Celebratory dances and festive colours characterized JKUAT Main Campus Juja, Monday, August 18, 2014 as stakeholders came together to launch yearlong commemoration of the 20th anniversary since the institution gained University autonomy in 1994. Speakers at the event took turns enumerating gains consolidated by the institution in its existence, recalling the many hurdles JKUAT surmounted to realize its current status.
Remembering the formative years of JKUAT as a University College, Prof. George Eshiwani, who was the founding Principal, noted that the institution had remained alive to its original mission to produce graduates who are, innovative, competent and responsible.
“Even as we relish these achievements, it is time to chalk new innovative paths in response to emerging socioeconomic challenges facing today’s society,” exhorted Prof. Eshiwani.
Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga took the audience through the development trajectory of the University which started out with less than 3,000 students in 1994 and today has over 36,000 students spread across three campuses and ten CBD centres in key towns in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Somaliland.
Prof. Imbuga lauded the steady support of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Education Science and Technology to the University which she opined had effectively given JKUAT a competitive edge in implementing its mandate.
Mr. Junichi Hanai, Senior Representative, JICA Kenya Office gave account of his Agency’s involvement in the establishment of JKUAT and subsequent technical support including staff training and capacity building.
“We are committed to undertake future collaboration with JKUAT including in the implementation of Pan Africa University Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation,” reinforced Hanai.
While projecting an inviting future for JKUAT, Chancellor, Prof. Geoffrey Maloiy urged the staff to continue actualizing applied research and publish in high impact journals to achieve greater visibility.
Prof. Maloiy equally challenged the scholars to actively participate in public debate with a view to influence national policies touching on their thematic academic disciplines.
Speaking on behalf of the University Council, Ambassador Steven Loyatum reiterated the commitment of the Council to propel the institution to new frontiers; through deployment of adequate and relevant infrastructure.
“This university has exceptional talent and innovative youth whose contributions will surely leave a positive mark in the implementation of Vision 2030,” Loyatum averred.
JKUAT was started in 1981 as a middle level technical college through bilateral technical cooperation between the government of Kenya and the Government of Japan. It became a constituent college in 1988 before assuming autonomy through an Act of Parliament in 1994. To respond to the new aspirations of the Universities Act 2012, the JKUAT was chartered by former President Kibaki, early 2013.
As part of commemorating the 20th anniversary which comes to a close in June 2015, the University has lined up several activities including public lectures, and open day.