Some 4200 students received various degrees and diplomas of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agricultures and Technology (JKUAT) during a graduation ceremony presided over by recently appointed Chancellor and long serving University of Nairobi academic, Prof. Francis Gichaga. Gichaga’s inaugural address focused on the importance of investing in research and innovation.
Noting that the developed world continue to invest heavily in the area of research in technology so that they can remain competitive in the global market, Prof. Gichaga said it makes economic sense for Kenya to invest in that technology that will make her products sellable in the global market.
“I wish to challenge the academics we have here at JKUAT to venture out there and identify areas where we can sell ourselves as the technological university of excellence in agriculture and technology,” he said.
He further said that the academics must project the image that we are an institution which can add value to the development of the nation in keeping with Vision 2030 and the wider East African Community.
The University has in the recent past embarked on a gender mainstreaming programme that has seen the number of female graduates gradually increase every academic year.
Unfortunately for JUKUAT, the bulk of the graduands are men, a situation that weighs down gender mainstreaming efforts. Out of the 4,200 graduands this year, 1,582 of them were women. Similarly, the number of female students enrolled and graduating in fields like Engineering and Technology has remained a cause of concern, said Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga during the graduation ceremony held at the Juja Main Campus.
“Gender disparity remains a major concern at national level. The University is committed to implementing guidelines set by the government in this regard,” she said.
“In line with this, JKUAT has put in place affirmative action in admission of students and recruitment of staff,” added Prof. Imbuga.
It is now a government policy to implement the gender policy in education in all government institutions to realize the Millennium Development Goals and the Vision 2030. The Ministry Higher Education, Science and Technology and that of Gender and Youth Affairs have inline with this put in place programmes that comply with the Beijing platform of action, MDGs and Vision 2030.
For the JKUAT to be compliant with requirements of the government, a center for gender and mentoring has been established at the University to roll out gender programmes and articulate all gender issues.
Chairman of Council – (Mr. Adan Mohammed)
Chancellor – 29th July – (Prof. Francis Gichaga)
Chancellor – 30th July – (Prof. Francis Gichaga)
Vice Chancellor – (Prof. Mabel Imbuga)