Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the realms of research and learning. Over the years, DAAD has played a pivotal role in enhancing the university’s human resource capacity through the provision of postgraduate scholarships.
In celebrating the achievement DAAD has had in East Africa for the past 50 years, the DAAD Secretary General, Dr. Kai Sicks paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi.
During the meeting, the officials engaged in constructive dialogues regarding internationalization initiatives, notable milestones in cooperation, interactions with DAAD scholars, and tours of laboratories and projects supported by collaborating German organizations.
Dr. Sicks lauded JKUAT for its collaborative research efforts and underlined that the partnership between DAAD and JKUAT serves as a testament to DAAD’s enduring commitment to collaborative endeavors with academic institutions in the East Africa region.
“Over these five decades, DAAD has witnessed incredible milestones in our cooperation with East African institutions, fostering academic excellence and research collaborations that have transcended borders,” said Dr. Sicks
Highlighting DAAD’s privilege in supporting numerous DAAD scholars who have not only excelled academically but also become ambassadors of knowledge exchange and cultural understanding, Dr. Sicks emphasized the organization’s unwavering commitment to nurturing the next generation of scholars.
During the meeting, Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi expressed her gratitude to DAAD for its substantial contributions to building the research and human resource capacity of the university. She expressed JKUAT’s eagerness to further collaborate with DAAD as the institution actively pursues its goals of internationalization.
She emphasized that the current era is marked by distinctive labor requirements driven by globalization, the evolution of knowledge-based societies, and the surge of transformative technologies. These factors, she believes have substantially amplified the call for advanced education.
“We are witnessing an unparalleled influx of students, academics, and educational programs, compelling institutions of higher learning to reassess their strategies for internationalization,” attested Prof. Ngumi
Prof. Ngumi went on to request DAAD’s assistance in facilitating exchange programs with German universities for both faculty and students, emphasizing that such initiatives would bolster JKUAT’s global visibility
Several DAAD scholars, including Dennis Audu from Nigeria, Damaris Waema from Kenya, Chippoh Kaudza from Malawi, John Kimotho from Kenya and Frank Mudenda from Zambia shared their aspirations and how their studies at JKUAT were shaping their goals to make meaningful contributions to their respective fields.
Audu, currently pursuing his master’s degree at JKUAT, remarked, “I will employ the knowledge I’ve gained in soil and water engineering to contribute to the formulation of policies and the resolution of long-standing water pollution issues in Nigeria.”
Similarly, Damaris Waema, who is pursuing a doctorate degree in Information Technology, expressed her aspiration, stating, “I am dedicated to remaining in academia to influence the future generation of ICT scientists in a manner that generates tangible value for society.”
“I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to become the first female faculty member in the Department of Environment and Natural Resource Management at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources,” Chippoh said.
The DAAD delegation including the Director of the DAAD Regional Office, Dr. Beate Schindler-Kovat also visited the Advanced Manufacturing lab at the College of Engineering and Technology under the SustainAM Project. The project is funded by DAAD and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).