The idea of a Chinese-aided China-Africa Joint Research Centre in Kenya, where African and Chinese researchers would conduct joint research, was conceived during deliberations between the author and his Chinese research counterpart, Prof. Wang Qing Feng, in 1999. The initiative has since come to fruition, thanks to long cordial ties between Kenya and China that can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when the famous navigator Zheng He reached the shores of Kenya.

Among the many benefits of the Sino-Kenya ties is the planned establishment of the JKUAT Botanical Garden and Sino-Africa Joint

SAJOREC organizes annual forums of African and Chinese scientists dubbed the ‘Sino-Kenyan Scientists’ Workshops’. The first of these forums was held in August 2013, in Nairobi. The workshop brought together JKUAT scientists and their counterparts from 11 leading Universities and research institutes in China.

SAJOREC has organized workshops and training sessions for African stakeholders to various Universities and research institutes in China, with an aim of enhancing skills transfer. One such development was a SAJOREC initiative sensitization seminar at the Wuhan Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences in October, 2013. The workshop brought together participants from Kenya and other African Countries, and Chinese officials and scientists. Previous training sessions have benefited university lecturers and laboratory technicians drawn from leading Universities in Africa, including JKUAT, who have been trained in molecular laboratory techniques in Wuhan University and Wuhan Botanical Garden.

Also facilitated is the award of full scholarships for Kenyan students to the prestigious University of Chinese Academy of Sciences for post-graduate studies in various disciplines.

Following competitive bidding conducted by the Ministry of Commerce of China, the Shanghai Construction Group of China won the tender to construct the facility. Construction is expected to be complete in 16 months from February, 2015.

Prof. Robert W. Gituru
Founder-Director, SAJOREC, JKUAT
Email: sabrec@jkuat.ac.ke

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