Left to Right: Hon. William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya meeting the RUFORUM Delegates in Nairobi, Kenya

Left to Right: Hon. William Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya meeting the RUFORUM Delegates in Nairobi, Kenya

His Excellency Hon. William Samoei Ruto, the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya has confirmed willingness of the Government of Kenya to Champion Higher Education, Science and Technology led development in Africa. In his remarks during a meeting with RUFORUM Vice Chancellors yesterday morning in Nairobi, Kenya, His Excellency Hon. William Ruto said “Kenya will join the Committee of 10 African Heads of State”[1].

The Deputy President underscored the need to strengthen Higher Education in Africa as the key catalyst for development in the continent. He applauded the RUFORUM Network for championing establishment of Regional Centres of Excellence for graduate training in Africa and informed the Vice Chancellors. “In addition to the current effort by the World Bank Kenya will establish three additional Higher Education Centres of Excellence to serve the wider Africa”.

He noted that this was in line with Kenya national policy efforts to strengthen Higher Education in Kenya and to share expertise and talent with other African Countries. The Deputy President underscored the need for African leaders to engage with the Private Sector and African Philanthropists towards increased private sector participation in the Higher Education sector in Africa.

Kenya’s Head of State will join nine other African Heads of States on the Committee of ten set by African Union, three of whom have already been identified (President of Malawi, President of Senegal and President of Mauritius). Kenya is among the top five countries that are leading in Science Technology and Innovation in Africa. Kenya has also the largest number of university members in the RUFORUM Network currently standing at seven universities.

In his remarks, Professor George Kanyama-Phiri, RUFORUM’s Deputy Board Chair and Vice Chancellor of Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) called upon His Excellency and other African Heads of State to work towards developing an Africa wide strategy for escalating postgraduate training in Africa. Professor Kanyama-Phiri informed the Deputy President that the RUFORUM member Universities were committed to work with African Governments and other Partners to ensure quality graduate training linked to supporting delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024).

The meeting was attended by 13 Vice Chancellors from Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and South Sudan.

[1] The most recent African Union Heads of States and Government Meeting held in South Africa in July 2014 called for the establishment of a Committee of 10 Heads of States in Africa to champion Education, Science and Technology development in Africa. Click here to download full press release.

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