Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology has opened own teaching centre in Arusha Tanzania, becoming the first public University in East Africa to take advantage of the revitalized regional corporation to mount its academic programmes across the country’s boarders. The inauguration ceremony held in Arusha Thursday July 5, 2012, was presided over by the Chancellor, Prof. Francis Gichaga, who used the event to underscore the importance of higher education in fostering regional integration.
Prof. Gichaga in a ceremony witnessed by officials from the East Africa Community and a representative from Kenya’s High Commission office in Arusha, recalled the dark days of the 1970’s that led to the collapse of then, East Africa Community, but added that the education sector was least affected by the disintegration citing the Inter-university Council of East Africa that he said remained proactive in the promotion of inter state relations in East Africa.
Regional integration, Prof. Gichaga, added that was now widely acknowledged as an essential instrument that would advance social and economic opportunities for the inhabitants of East Africa. Larger markets he said permitted better exploitation of economies of scale since they encouraged mobility of people and resources across borders.
The Chancellor who was accompanied by the JKUAT Council Chairman Eng. Julius Riungu and Vice Chancellor Prof. Mabel Imbuga, commended JKUAT for taking advantage of the East Africa Common Market established in 2010 that he said allowed free movement of people and services. ‘Education is such service’ he acknowledged.
In his remarks Eng. Riungu said, the new centre at Arusha was part of JKUAT objective to open strategic campuses aimed at increased enrollment of local and foreign students. ‘As JKUAT we are pleased that the Arusha centre is a shining example in fostering JKUAT agenda to absorb international students’.
Prof. Imbuga on her part emphasized the fact that the new facility in Arusha was part of JKUAT culture of promoting higher education and research in the region. The Vice Chancellor recalled JKUAT had in the 1990’s been a centre of research and technology transfer training for technical personnel drawn from a number of sub-Saharan Africa. The training she said targeted specific thematic areas including food technology, water analysis, electronics and electrical engineering among others.