Over 20 female vice chancellors of African Universities Tuesday August 23, convened in Nairobi to discuss how African women in academia can effectively contribute to the continent’s development agenda. The meeting which was convened by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology was addressed by seasoned female academics, leaders and representatives of government and the private sector.
Addressing the opening session, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu, called for political commitment to gender mainstreaming in all productive sectors of Africa’s economy. She added that women participation was key to accelerating the continent’s socio-economic progress and realization of the sustainable development goals.
UNESCO’s Regional Senior Advisor for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Dr. Peggy Oti-Boateng urged the participants to build credibility by proving capable of undertaking research that can be tapped to transform livelihoods.
Peggy however challenged African countries to align their STI policies with emerging global trends and needs. She further identified capacity development and fund mobilization through strategic leverages as key to unlocking Africa’s potential.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga informed the meeting that despite the huge natural resource endowments, Africa was still home to half of the world’s poor. Prof. Imbuga said for Africa to realize Agenda 2063, there is urgent need to promote innovation and entrepreneurship to sustainable tap the available resources.
The event which came just days before the sixth edition of Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) is one among a series JKUAT has hosted. In July, the University hosted a conference on higher education and a panel discussion on Africa’s inclusive growth prospects.
The female vice chancellors’ forum was also addressed by former Higher Education Minister, Prof. Margaret Kamar, Kenya JICA Chief, Keiko Sano, Dr. Asa Torkelsson of UN Women, Prof. Adipala Ekwamu of RUFORUM, and Prof. Nkem Khumbah.