Kenya’s labour market got a shot in the arm following the graduation of 4,131 students who were conferred with various degrees and awarded diplomas during the 30th Graduation Ceremony of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
The event staged Friday November 17, 2017, saw JKUAT Chancellor, Prof. Geoffrey Ole Maloiy confer a total of 55 doctorate degrees, 16 to female recipients. This was a major feat, considering that Kenyan universities produce under 200 PhDs combined, annually.
Among the doctorate recipients was Hon. Pamela Awuor Odhiambo, Migori County Women Representative; crowned following her novel research on Influence of strategic business models on performance of Women-led community based Micro-Enterprises in Kenya. Prior to her plunge into politics, Dr. Pamela was a don at JKUAT’s College of Human Resource Development.
Dr. Ghilamicael Amanuel Menghs, an Eritrean who was awarded PhD in Biotechnology, said he gained critical knowledge that would help him drive capacity building to help his country exploit its marine potential for socio-economic progress.
“JKUAT has excellent research facilities backed with formidable international linkages. I am happy to have been part of the institution,” Dr. Amanuel who was a beneficiary of JICA funding said.
Another highlight of the ceremony was the passing out of 50 graduands, who were awarded post graduate diploma in tax and customs; courtesy of a collaboration between JKUAT and Kenya Revenue Authority.
Prof. Maloiy noted that JKUAT had consolidated an enviable environment to further applied research, in tandem with the national development needs.
In line with the varsity’s vision of global excellence in training, research and innovation, the Chancellor informed the ceremony of the international linkages and collaborations that he opined, had enhanced JKUAT’s visibility internationally.
He pointed out the AFRICA-ai-JAPAN, a JICA-funded Project which had facilitated the establishment of an Innovation and Prototyping Centre and a Small Animals Research facility at JKUAT.
Addressing the convocation ceremony, Council Chair, Prof. Paul Kanyari said the University has put in place requisite human capital to ensure it delivers quality training and research.
He noted the recent appointment of the renowned agricultural scientist, Prof. Mary Onyango Abukutsa as the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research, Production and Extension; as part of the strategy to give impetus to JKUAT’s research activities.
On the backdrop of ongoing industrial strike by teaching staff, Prof. Kanyari appealed to the government to implement the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as well as implementation of the Differentiated Unit Cost, to enable JKUAT effectively meet its obligations.
On her part, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga said the practical orientation of JKUAT training and research had enabled the institution to emerge as a choice destination for local and international students.
JKUAT, she said, had admitted 7491 students in September 2017, with additional 164 from 38 african countries, slated to report at the African Union led Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI), in November 2017.
On the technology transfer front, The Vice Chancellor said JKUAT had formally launched Taifa Elimu Tablet, to be supplied to private primary schools in a bid to increase access to digital learning in the schools.
In addition, Prof. Imbuga also reported that JKUAT was in 2017 granted two patents for a bio shoe polish and papaya puree yoghurt. The patents, she opined, were instrumental in the University’s bid to protect innovations ahead of commercialization.