Deputy President Hon. Rigathi Gachagua has challenged Kenyan youth to embrace positive attitude and entrepreneurship; and not only wait for formal employment. Speaking during the 40th graduation ceremony of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology on Friday June 23, the Deputy President noted that young people have the creative minds, benefit of technology and modern education; key ingredients to claim the opportunities in the job market.
“Most of your parents were not employed by anybody but through hard work, creative and innovative thinking, they have seen you through the university,” said the Deputy President to jubilant JKUAT graduates.
Hon. Gachagua lauded JKUAT for its role in supporting government development programmes through training and research in key areas such as agriculture, healthcare, engineering, ICT, entrepreneurship and built environment.
DP Gachagua joins JKUAT officials and PhD graduands during the ceremony
“JKUAT researchers have pioneered the tissue culture banana technology that has since created a multi-million banana industry in Kenya and beyond, transforming thousands of livelihoods,” noted the Deputy President.
The DP challenged JKUAT graduates to support the government’s housing project, which he said provides opportunities for a large cadre of technical expertise such as engineers, quantity surveyors, electricians, and architects.
Speaking at the same event, Education Cabinet Secretary Hon. Ezekiel Machogu said that government had committed to increase research funding to promote multidisciplinary research in Kenyan universities.
“I thank JKUAT staff members for their outstanding contribution in research and human capacity building at local and international levels,” CS Machogu said.
A total of 4299 graduands were conferred with degrees and awarded certificates during the joint graduation ceremony of JKUAT and the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, Technology and Innovation (PAUSTI).
Hon. Gachagua engages PAU officials and graduands during the joint ceremony
JKUAT Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Mathu Ndung’u said that the university continues to enhance training and research in emerging areas such as in the blue economy, climate change mitigation, green building technologies and aerospace engineering.
Prof. Ndung’u added that JKUAT was also working with counties to promote technology transfer through targeted trainings including on mushroom, black soldier fly and cricket farming.
JKUAT Vice Chancellor, Prof. Victoria Wambui Ngumi reported that the university was implementing a number of multi-disciplinary research projects aimed at complementing the Government’s efforts towards food and nutrition security.
Prof. Ngumi singled out the Belgium-funded Legume project which aims at promoting climate-smart, high-yielding and nutritious bean varieties and bean-based products.
“Similarly, our researchers are developing alternative flour from potato, millet, sorghum and cassava to reduce over-reliance on maize and wheat,” Prof. Ngumi added.
Speaking on behalf of the JKUAT Council, Mr. Hassan Abdi Mohammed, welcomed the recently introduced university funding model and expressed optimism that it will significantly address the prevailing financial constraints being experienced by higher learning institutions.
The graduation ceremony was also attended by Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary, Kipchumba Murkomen; Investment, Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary, Moses Kuria; Pan African University officials; national and county leaders, among others.