STI Key for Socio-Economic Development

Prof. Imbuga (right) shows Juja MP, Mr. Waititu (2nd right) and Mrs. Karanja (2nd left) some of the cactus products. Looking on is Prof. Abukutsa (left).

For Kenya to achieve Vision 2030, the government, private sector and universities need to collaborate and create an avenue that would foster the promotion of research and technology transfer. This is according to Mrs. Tabitha Karanja who was speaking during the 8th JKUAT open day, September 8, 2017..

“I know for a fact that science, technology and innovation are key drivers of a country’s socio-economic development and for us to achieve vision 2030 we must develop the relevant skills to tackle our problems,” said the Keroche Breweries CEO.

Acknowledging the prowess of the exhibitions on display, Mrs. Karanja said she was an advocate of homegrown solutions to the problems facing the country saying she was equally impressed with the exhibits that addressed concerns close to Kenya’s interests and development agenda. “I am particularly pleased to note that the featured innovation products have great potential for food security as well as for agricultural mechanisation.”

Juja Member of Parliament, Francis Munyua Waititu, lauded JKUAT for being leaders in innovation and technology and vowed to lobby Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture where he is a member for more financial allocation towards research institution such as JKUAT. This he said will be key in tackling the issue of food security in the country.

Mrs. Karanja (center) marvels at the solar cooker innovation

“As I lobby the government, I also urge researchers from universities to come out and advise the government and private sectors on how to tackle our problems as a nation,” said Waititu.

Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, said JKUAT was committed to issues research and innovation as epitomised in the University’s Vision of becoming a University of global excellence in Training, Research and Innovation for Development.

“Acknowledging that Agriculture is the backbone of our nation, the University plays substantial role in the development of Agriculture and Technology, in conjunction with industry in order to contribute to the social and economic development of Kenya,” said Prof. Imbuga.

While acknowledging the challenge of commercialisation of research outputs being churned out by universities, Prof. Imbuga said JKUAT anticipates to promote at least ten of its current innovation projects outputs into prototypes and commercialise them through the JKUAT Industrial and Technological Park. “This is JKUAT’s commitment towards the industrialisation agenda of the country,” said the Vice Chancellor.

The invited guests get a feel of the Shujaa tractor

Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension, Prof. Mary Abukutsa, said that in keeping with the theme of the open day ‘Agriculture, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development and Food Security.’ the open day is geared towards developing solutions, products and services that enhance economic development of both the researcher and the country.

The congregation was also addressed by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Victoria Ngumi.