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CSU and UoN cement relations

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(Left) Dr. Tony Frank, President, CSU and Prof. George Magoha, Vice Chancellor, UoN sign MoU

The University of Nairobi (UoN) and Colorado State University (CSU) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will strengthen the already existing 50 year-working relationship between the two institutions.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Prof. George Magoha, Vice Chancellor, UoN, said the move will further facilitate the University’s efforts in dealing with issues of food insecurity, population, health and climate change. He said that Kenya is relying on institutions of higher learning to provide the expertise d towards sustainable solutions. To this end, the University through its various academic constituents has been working towards addressing pressing issues in agriculture thereby ensuring food security and combating climate change.

On his part, Dr. Tony Frank, President, CSU, said that it was important for universities to develop a more sustainable future. In dealing with the present problems, he pointed out that the overall challenge is to accept the responsibility to deal with these problems as the future generation will hold this generation accountable.

In 2011, UoN and CSU obtained a joint grant funded through Higher Education for Development (HED) by USAID, under their Africa-US Higher Education Initiative. The partnership led to the establishment of the Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES) at UoN to develop an integrated approach to sustaining Kenyan dryland societies and ecosystems by linking research, higher education and communities.

The areas of agreement as stipulated in the signed MoU will include a strategic plan for engagement between the two universities in dry land education, research and outreach, fellowships for PhD students in outreach to dry land communities, internships for undergraduate students, research grants, higher education needs assessment for dry land development and conservation which will lead to development of relevant pre-university diploma courses, distance education, changes in curriculum to focus on dry land issues and scholarships.

UoN is the leading university for the study of drylands for the region and serves 29 universities in Eastern and Southern Africa through its Dryland Resource Management PhD Program. The Centre enhances UoN’s capacity to produce high-performing graduates who engage in demand-driven research that contributes to sustainable and productive dryland ecosystems and societies and will build the higher education capabilities of dryland communities in Kenya and beyond. The Centre also provides a major point of engagement for students and faculty from CSU in dryland education, research and outreach.

The CSU delegation’s two-day visit to UoN will comprise series of meetings, a tour of the College of Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences (CAVS) farms and a public lecture by Dr. Frank on Universities- Community Partnerships at CAVS 8.4.4 Auditorium on 30th November, 2012 at 10.00 am.