A delegation from Uasin Gishu County led by the Governor, Mr. Jackson Mandago, visited Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) on a benchmarking mission, March 4, 2021. The mission focused on among other aspects, the operations of the University’s engineering workshops and how the county can leverage on the capacity and skills for the youth in Uasin Gishu County.
With over 20 institutions in the Uasin Gishu County, the governor said, he was keen to build their capacity, especially in technical areas to produce skilled individuals in an effort to foster the industrialization and manufacturing agenda of the country.
“To be a manufacturing and industrial country as envisioned by the national government, we need to empower and build the capacity of our youth who need knowledge and technical skills they can apply to solve local problems,” said. Mr. Mandago.
While acknowledging JKUAT as a powerhouse in engineering and technology, Mr. Mandago said he wants to furnish the vocational training centres in his county with proper equipment and trainers and believed that JKUAT was the right partner.
“I would like every Ward in my county to have a fully equipped vocational training centre that will enable the youth to acquire technical skills in engineering, welding, carpentry, masonry and fabrication hence empowering them to be job creators,” said the Governor.
While welcoming the Governor to JKUAT, Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Administration, Prof. Bernard Ikua said, JKUAT is guided by a clear vision as a University of global excellence in training, research, innovation and entrepreneurship for development.
“Since its inception, JKUAT has been at the forefront in fostering a culture of research and innovation among faculty and students thus, more top-notch research enterprises are taking place at JKUAT, which have earned the University a much-needed prestige not only in Kenya but the region,” said Prof. Ikua who was representing the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi.
While citing the counties JKUAT has collaborated with, Prof. Ikua said the University is proud to have extended her services to Makueni County, where there is a Mango value addition project run by JKUAT researchers and in Kiambu where JKUAT has established a banana value chain enterprise for the members of the community in partnership with the National Government Affirmative Action Fund.
Interacting with students at the Engineering workshops, Governor Mandago called upon students to become entrepreneurs and create jobs rather than seek them.
He urged them not to always wait for the government to provide jobs but instead, seek means to support the country’s development agenda through the skills and knowledge gained.
The benchmarking meeting was attended by Uasin Gishu CECs; Eng. Gideon Birir, Eng. Nelson Maritim, Chair Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI), Prof. David Some, Principal RVTTI Isaac Bwambok, Ag. Principal College of Engineering and Technology, Dr. Hiram Ndiritu, Ag. Principal College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Prof. Elijah Ateka among other County and JKUAT staff.