African Researchers urged to Research for Impact in Community

Monday, October 23, 2023 was the Official Opening Ceremony  that was held at the UoN Towers, 5th floor,  Chandaria Auditorium. The CS of Education, Dr. Ezekiel Machogu was the Chief Guest and Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi, the Executive Director, African Population Health and Research Center, was the keynote speaker who  addressed the audience on, 'Research for Development: The Paradox'.

‘Research for impact in community, don’t do research so that other professors can cite and recite your work,’ cautioned Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi.

“Development is for those countries that will engage evidence from research, interpret, diffuse and use data, ‘noted the Executive Director, African Population and Health Research Centre, who delivered a keynote speech at the official opening ceremony of the 6th annual research week.

Dr. Kyobutungi was speaking on the year’s theme, ‘Harnessing Research for Resilience and Sustainable Development’ and specifically, research for National Development. She highlighted the argument, ‘What comes first? Investment in Research? Or Research for Development? ‘she challenged African researchers to increase their visibility, to stop playing safe by neither being first authors nor last authors in publications, not engaging in research on issues that mostly affect the African continent.

Fredrick Ndambuki, the Secretary of Administration, Ministry of Education who represented the CS Hon. Ezekiel Machogu noted that the Ministry distinguishes colleges and Universities by separating institutions of Higher Learning that engage in research and those that don’t. He reiterated the Ministry’s focus on research and its importance. He pledged the Ministry’s efforts to address the issue of funds allocated towards Research and Development.

While delivering his remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama assured the audience that the University of Nairobi is not about to lose its hold on its efforts on research but rather, it is increasing its intensity through collaboration with industry. He mentioned examples like the establishment of Agricultural Innovation Centre in partnership with Elgon Kenya, the establishment of Science and Engineering complex that brings on board industry-academia linkages and encourages problem-based learning through a multi-disciplinary approach. He stressed, ‘The University has been providing solutions to what our society needs and we will continue to address pain points faced by the government and the different stakeholders.’ He mentioned the establishment of Centres of Excellence that are solely dedicated to research in each Faculty.  

On her part, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Enterprise, Prof. Margaret Hutchinson, welcomed all guests to the 6th annual research week and highlighted the University’s collaboration efforts in different research consortia; she mentioned the ARUA, CARTA. Prof. Hutchinson took the guests through the planned research week, the 16 conferences from each of the faculties. She remarked, ‘This is the first time that all the ten faculties are participating in the research week.’

Prof. Hutchinson also announced names of outstanding researchers from each Faculty and the VC awarded them a Vice Chancellor’s Excellence award in research.

Prof. Loice Ombajo, Prof. Walter Jaoko, Dr. Richard Kibugi, Prof. George Abong’, are among the researchers that were awarded.

The CEO, National Research Fund and the University Senate, Local and International partners  were among those in attendance.

The UoN Research week will run from October 23-27, 2023 . Read more about the conferences through the research week website 

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