Uasin Gishu County to Forge Partnership with JKUAT

Prof. Ngumi confers with Senator Mandago during the meeting.

The County Government of Uasin Gishu is set to forge a strategic partnership with the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT). The partnership will cover several frontiers including Agriculture and Food Security, ICT, Research and Technology, as well as Higher Education and Vocational Training.

The pronouncements follow a visit on Monday 31 October, 2022 to the university by the leadership of the county, led by Senator Jackson Mandago and the Deputy Governor, Hon. John Barorot, who represented Governor Jonathan Bii.

They were accompanied by four members of parliament drawn from the county, including Hon. Julius Ruto (Kesses Constituency), Hon. Janet Sitienei (Turbo), Hon. Prof. Phyllis Bartoo (Moiben), and Hon. David Kiplagat (Soy Constituency).

“We have identified this university as a critical partner in Agriculture, Value Addition, ICT, Enterprise Development, among other key areas. And this is not just limited to Uasin Gishu, but the national government as well,” said Senator Mandago.

While lauding the university for its quality training and research prowess, the Senator further called on the university to be at the forefront of supporting the national government in its development agenda.

“Food security for instance, is a key priority for the Kenya Kwanza administration, and we all know that quality research informs policy. We need you to take the lead in this respect, so that we end up with well-informed interventions,” he added.

From Left; MPs Hon. Janet Sitienei, Hon. Phyllis Bartoo, Hon. Julius Ruto, and Hon. David Kiplagat.

On his end, the Deputy Governor echoed the need to work with the county on the agricultural front, underscoring the great potential Uasin Gishu holds. The county, alongside the neighboring Trans-Nzoia, are considered Kenya’s breadbasket due to the large-scale maize and wheat farms which form the bulk of the country’s harvest. It also boasts a substantial milk and horticultural produce.

“We are here on a unity of purpose, for the good of the people. We believe this is an institution that we need in Eldoret, as well as nationally. As we work towards economic transformation, we need to impart necessary skills, undertake capacity building, upscale innovations to industry levels, and train hustlers on enterprise development. This is where JKUAT comes in,” averred Hon. Phyllis Bartoo.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi, expressed the university’s readiness and willingness to partner with the county government, terming devolution as a key frontier that the university has been keen on tapping.

“We have been reaching out to counties and establishing working relationship in various capacities. This is intentional, since a lot of sectors have been devolved, and these are the areas we train in and work towards impacting,” said Prof. Ngumi.

“As a public university, we are not only keen on providing quality training, but also big on advancing research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. All these are geared towards sustainable development, and we recognize that we need partners to make this happen. On the many frontiers of collaboration explored here today, we will walk with you every step of the way, to ensure we impact society and positively change people’s lives,” she added.

The visit by the leaders from Uasin Gishu comes just a week after Prof. Ngumi urged the university community to proactively support the realization of the new government’s development programmes for the benefit of Kenyans.

In her address to the University Senate, the Vice Chancellor noted that JKUAT had honed many innovations and technological solutions that can be harnessed to power Kenya’s economic transformation. She cited the university’s institutional capacity and international linkages as resources that can be leveraged to make meaningful contribution.

University management in a commemorative photo with the Uasin Gishu delegation after the meeting.

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