Started in 1981 as a middle level college through a bilateral cooperation between the Government of Kenya and the Government of Japan, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology assumed University autonomy through an Act of Parliament in 1994, becoming the fifth public University in Kenya. JKUAT has lived up to its mission to offer accessible and quality training, research and innovation in its thematic fields, producing leaders and professional who continue to tower various sector landscapes. In the process, JKUAT has consolidated its place in the academic podium achieving national, regional and global visibility and recognition.
JKUAT’s forte as a university of choice for Kenyan nationals, international students and researchers can be attested through its student base that currently stands over 37, 000 compared to hardly 3,000 students in 1994. The University has also actualized several applied research initiatives like the groundbreaking tissue culture bananas which have positively transformed livelihoods across Kenya’s counties.
In its bid to take higher education to grassroots levels, the last 20 years, has seen the University open campuses and CBD centres across the country. Besides the Main Campus in Juja, JKUAT currently runs two campuses and CBD centre in Nairobi and eight other centres in Kisumu, Kisii, Kitale, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kakamega, Arusha, Kigali and Transmara.
In 2012, JKUAT was competitively selected to host the East African hub of the African Union led Pan African University Institute of Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI), thrusting JKUAT’s to the centre of integrating African economies through training and research.
JKUAT’s international presence and influence however precedes 2012. Upon assuming autonomy, the University, in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched a regional technology transfer programme in which 450 participants drawn from 14 countries in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, were equipped with competencies on modern technologies in the areas of water, agriculture and engineering.
As a forward player in the implementation of the Kenya Vision 2030, the University is undertaking a number of flagship projects including establishment of the Nairobi Industrial and Technology Park. When complete, the facility is slated to incubate promising business ideas into established ventures; besides assembly of electronic devices.
In appreciation of this enviable 20 year trajectory, JKUAT is set to commence a yearlong commemorations, to be marked by various activities and events; featuring a number of personalities within and beyond Kenyan boarders. Among those lined up to kick start the celebrations is Prof. George Eshiwani, revered Kenyan academic and founding Principal of then Jomo Kenyatta University college , the precursor of JKUAT, who will give a keynote address during the August 18, 2014 launch.