Mount Kenya University Vice Chancellor Prof. Deogratius Jaganyi
- He noted that partnerships and collaborations among varsities on the continent would forge synergistic frontiers.
- The three day conference was the eighth conference organisation by the international, interdisciplinary and inter-universities consortium.
Mount Kenya University Vice Chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi was last week selected as the new chair of International Inter-universities Consortium after the university hosted.
This was during the eighth Interdisciplinary and Inter-universities research conference that was held at the university’s main campus in Thika.
Jaganyi said he would be looking at deepening relations among African universities, noting that partnerships and collaborations among varsities on the continent would forge synergistic frontiers.
He added that joint efforts between various African universities and their partners in academia locally and abroad, governments, domestic and international private sector players will go a long way in boosting the uptake of science and technology in institutions of higher learning in the region.
“Globally, partnerships for development are a key strategy in all realms of human lives,” Jaganyi said.
He was speaking during the conference held at MKU’s Mwai Kibaki Convention Centre.
The three-day event saw delegates engage on diverse multidisciplinary issues ranging from the need to focus on Science Technology and Innovation (STI) as the driving discussion for attaining Vision 2030 and Africa Union Agenda 2063 objectives.
The conference brought together stakeholders from academia, public and private sectors to discuss strategies to entrench problem-based research and innovation for socio-economic development.
Director general at the National Commission for Science, Technology, and Innovation (NACOSTI) Prof Walter Oyawa noted that developments such as the Covid-19 pandemic have affirmed science has a key role to play in socio-economic development.
Humanity is living through unprecedented times simultaneously defined by; Rapid change in technology, new conflicts or wars, violent and hateful ideologies, risks of global pandemics and disease, climate change and loss of biodiversity, scientific advance and ethical dilemma, social change, economic growth and widening economic gap,” he said.
He added that global challenges are becoming increasingly complex, interconnected and interdependent.
“Science, technology and innovation (STI) are key drivers of economic and social development and are hence a critical means of implementation for National Agenda.
“Covid-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the vital role of Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (Research Systems) as a Global Public Good, for strengthened National Security, enhanced Public Safety/Health, and Inclusive Sustainable Development.”
The other keynote speaker at the conference was Dr George Njoroge, a globally renowned researcher and innovator with a passion for Africa Renaissance through medical research and innovation.
He is well known for the discovery of Victrelis the first oral protease inhibitor for the treatment of the deadly Hepatitis C virus.
Dr. Njoroge is the Founder and Chairman of Center of Africa’s Life Sciences (C.O.A.L.S), an institution for research and development of new medicines that is based in Naivasha, Kenya.
He is a recipient of tens of global awards and recognitions which among many others include, the Heroes of Chemistry Award by the American Chemical Society in August 2012, the Pioneer Award for Impact in Science and Medicine by Face2Face Africa Organization in New York on July 14 2018.
He was also awarded the honorary Doctoral Degree in Pharmaceutical Science by Mount Kenya University on July 2014.
The three day conference was the eighth conference organisation by the international, interdisciplinary and inter-universities consortium.
Different institutions that are members of the Inter-Disciplinary and Inter-universities Consortium have annually hosted the conference on a rotational basis over the last eight years.
Dr. Jane Nyutu co-founder of MKU noted that the multi-disciplinary approach that the university has taken has seen get global accolades, including being selected to become the hub for reducing inequalities by a United Nations agency.
“The same multi-disciplinary endeavour at MKU through teaching, research and community engagement has led to MKU’s award to serve for three years as the United Nations Academic Impact for SDG No. 10 on Reduced Inequalities,” she said.
“This allows the university to partner with many universities, with the industry, and with practitioners in all areas that are of positive impact on human life; namely, medicine, animal health and production, education, social and physical sciences, and so on. Thus, in a collaborative effort, communities across the world will very well benefit from the joint activities of our deliberation.