Kenyan universities will now find it easy to forge international partnerships, secure research funding and also improve their rankings after the country joined Governing Board of International Science Council (ISC).

National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) Chief Executive Walter Oyawa has been elected to sit on the crucial organ, opening doors for global partnerships for local institutions and experts.

ISC is an international non-governmental organisation that works to provide a global voice for science. It works at the global level to catalyse and convene scientific expertise, advice and influence on issues of major concern to both science and society.

Prof Oyawa will now be part of the 16 board members of the ISC who will provide scientific and strategic leadership to the Council for the next three years.

Prof Oyawa challenged local universities and researchers to take advantage of the inclusion to forge international partnerships that will also improve institutions ranking.

“This is a golden chance presented to Kenya and this is the time for universities and local experts to think big and even secure crucial research funding,” said Oyawa.

He said the move comes at a time the world is fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and noted that Kenya will greatly benefit from being part of the decision-making body.

Oyawa said Kenya for the first time has a voice in the international scene, at a time effects of Covid 19 pandemic are taking toll on nations.

“We want our local universities and experts to seek global partnerships to get the latest information and these associations will also improve their world rankings,” said Oyawa.

He said other than having international faculties, international students and international students, global rankings also depend on international partnerships.

He said through the partnership, Nacosti will be able to advise presidency on a number of issues on science and research during the pandemic.

“We shall be sitting on a body that is also advisory to the United Nations and this is a major win for Kenya,” said Oyawa.

Amongst its duties, the ISC Governing Board provides strategic leadership and develops priority activity and business plans for approval by the General Assembly, as well as monitoring the implementation and performance of such plans.