Researchers Challenged to Support Development Aspirations

Prof. Maringa (right), Prof. Imbuga (centre) and Prof. Odhiambo at the opening ceremony of the 2018 SRI conference

Kenyan researchers and innovators have been challenged to undertake market driven research and innovations that can aid the actualization of the government’s development programmes. The Principal Secretary in the State Department of Public Works, Prof. Paul Maringa added that progressive societies only realized inclusive and sustainable development by tapping into innovations and knowledge from the academia.

Cautioning against engaging in research for research sake, Prof. Maringa also implored academics to be proactive in offering their expertise, including at the grassroots levels to spur development and livelihoods transformation across the country.

“Research must be relevant, sustainable and benchmarked globally. Universities should also approach the industry in a persuasive way, offering viable and better alternatives,” Prof. Maringa advised.

Prof. Maringa spoke Wednesday May 2, 2018 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) where he presided over the opening ceremony of the University’s annual Sustainable Research and Innovation conference.

A section of participants follows the conference proceedings

The three-day conference features 47 paper presentations in key areas such as environmental management, power systems and transmission, marine applications, renewable energy, telecommunications, mining, manufacturing and SMEs.

In her message to the participants, Vice Chancellor, prof. Mabel Imbuga said JKUAT was repositioning as a research and entrepreneurial university with tangible innovations that could be tapped to buoy agricultural mechanization and value addition.

“We are also in the final stages of completing a noodles manufacturing plant, expected to contribute in the production of noodles locally in a double move to soar manufacturing while fostering food security,” Prof. Imbuga said,

The Vice chancellor also encouraged the participants to form linkages that can facilitate multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research projects. She added that JKUAT works closely with industry and government agencies to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to our development challenges.

Conference participants at the end of the opening ceremony

The Conference that was supported by JICA and National Research Fund drew participation from Kenya, South Africa, Japan and Germany.

Prof. Dirk Söffker from the University of Duisburg Essen, Germany and Prof. Prof. Yasuhiro Okamoto from Okayama University, Japan are expected to deliver keynote addresses to the participants.

The event was also graced by Deputy Vice Chancellors: Prof. Romanus Odhiambo, Prof. Mary Abukutsa and Prof. Victoria Ngumi. Also present were PAUSTI Director, Prof. Gabriel Magoma and AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project Chief Advisor, Prof. Hiroshi Koaze.

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