Universities should be at the forefront in engineering and rolling out ICT innovations that could be tapped to solve global pressing issues, the Deputy Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has said. Malcom Johnson cited pollution, uncontrolled urbanization, e-commerce, and preclusion of rural communities from global value-chains, as pressing concerns that required sustainable solution.
As citadels of knowledge, the academia, Mr. Malcom added, also contributed intellectual input in the activities of the ITU; making the UN Agency more effective in discharging its mandate in the tripartite areas of radio, standards and development.
The Deputy Secretary General said his organization was creating strong networks of state and non-state actors, including universities; that could gel their efforts and expertise towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The official added that ITU runs a peer reviewed journal where members of academia could disseminate their research findings. He also reported that the organization holds capacity building forums and internships through which varsity staff could hone novelties aimed at fostering sustainable development.
While receiving the official on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga, College of Pure and Applied Sciences Principal, Prof. David Mulati, said JKUAT was ready to work with ITU in fashioning progressive and sustainable solutions on thematic areas.
Prof. Mulati said JKUAT had a strong track record of producing engineering and ICT solutions that were aligned to ITU objectives. He sighted the roll out of the computing devices by the University under the JKUAT Industrial Park.
The Principal also informed the visiting official that JKUAT was hosting the African Union fronted Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI), making the university centre of excellence for Africa.
Mr. Malcolm was in Kenya to attend the United Nations Environment Assembly held on 4-6 December 2017.
Meeting was also attended by Dean, School of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Materials Engineering, Dr. Hirum Ndiritu, among others.