Universities have been urged to ensure that their research outputs benefit the local communities around them as part of their mandate. This was the message from the Director University Education, Mr Darius Ogutu who was representing the Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research. The Director was speaking when he officially opened the National Steering Committee Meeting for the Africa Centers of Excellence held on the 31st January 2022 at the University.
The Director added that the local language is also a barrier since the local communities may not be familiar with research terminologies. Mr Ogutu encouraged universities to forge partnerships and linkages that can increase research funding and encourage more innovations. Mr Ogutu was happy to note the tremendous effort that Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology had put forward since the inception of the project and acknowledged that indeed the University had received several accolades for the research grants it was attracting.
While making his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor, Stephen Agong’ said that the continuous advancement in food security had brought rich intellectual capital across the board and especially among the Africa Centers of excellence. He noted that challenges continued to persist however through innovation, the centers will overcome.
The INSEFOOD Project Director, Professor Darius Andika gave a brief of the progress made in the project so far, noting that they had so far enrolled 140 Masters and 41 PhD students and several short courses taught. He also noted that the Centre had signed 10 Memorandum of understanding with different entities for partnerships and linkages.
The National Steering Committee Members included the Chief Executive Officer, Kenya National Innovation Agency, Dr Omwanza, several Officials from the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, National Research Fund and Egerton’s’ CESSAM Project, Moi University’s’ ACE II PTRE.