Friday, May 12, 2023

The University of Nairobi (Kenya), 4 schools of ParisTech network (France) – AgroParisTech, Chimie ParisTech - PSL, École des Ponts ParisTech and Mines Paris - PSL – and CentraleSupélec - University Paris-Saclay (France) jointly signed a Tripartite Partnership Agreement launching a four-year cooperation programme for the development of the Engineering and Science Complex (ESC) in Nairobi 

The University of Nairobi will construct the ESC on its Chiromo campus, keeping with the national 2030 strategy for better industrialization of the country, the creation of greener and more sustainable jobs, and to tackle global challenges. The partners will share their know-how and best practices in five domains: governance, curricula, university-industry linkages, research and innovation, and internationalization. The ESC will be partly funded by a sovereign loan from the French Agency for Development (AFD). The aim of this partnership is to build long-term knowledge and skills sharing and transfer, and practice-oriented teaching of technological and digital knowledge, in conformance with the curriculum, in an effort to support the growing needs in East Africa for the emerging manufacturing and service industry. The French partners will accompany the University of Nairobi, particularly in companies’ involvement in University activities around governance, the curricula and research and innovation, as well as in internationalization. Seminars, conferences and meetings will be organized in Nairobi, Paris and remotely over the next four years. Some of the activities are currently under development, such as joint scientific workshops and delegation visits. They will also jointly apply for European fundings in order to deepen their internationalization, notably the links between researchers and academic staff.

Speaking during the signing ceremony in France, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, said “by offering high-quality education and research opportunities, the Complex aims to create a new generation of international professionals equipped with the knowledge and competences to become leaders in their respective fields, aware of the impact of their actions, able to contribute to public good and to tackle global challenges”.

Christian Lerminiaux, the President of the ParisTech network, opined “It’s the first time that some of the most prestigious French engineering schools decide to put resources on a big partnership in English-speaking Africa. We are eager to start this cooperation around the Engineering and Science Complex and to accompany the University of Nairobi. This partnership is particularly important because 4 ParisTech schools are now cooperating with the University of Nairobi and CentraleSupélec, a good way to promote the way we train students in science and engineering in France.”

Romain Soubeyran, the Director General of CentraleSupélec, added; “CentraleSupélec is eager to pursue collaboration with Kenya and the African continent as a whole, through student mobility, academic partnerships and research projects. Building on our experience in industry-academia linkages, we will continue to share best practises and to enhance engineering education and its adaptability to the changing labour market”

The Vice chancellor was accompanied by Mr. Brian Ouma, Chief Operations Officer, Mr.John Orindi, Director University of Nairobi, and Ms. Anne Nkoidilla , Program Officer, University advancement and Prof. Mark Zolver, Foreign expert, Industry academia co-operation. The team visited CentraleSupélec, Université Paris-Saclay, AgroParisTech, Chimie ParisTech – PSL and École des Ponts ParisTech, respectively. They also visited the University of Cote D'Azur in Nice and discussed research collaboration and academic exchanges. The University of Cote D'Azur is interested in working with the University of Nairobi in Sports Science  so that UoN can play a critical role in harnessing the abundant sports talent and building a healthy sports environment in Kenya for the benefit of the Nation.

Also in attendance during the signing ceremony were Mr. Matthieu Peyraud, Director for Culture and Soft Diplomacy at the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs as well as Mr. Manuel Bouard, representative of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Mr. Chahoul Gaffar, representative of the Ministry for the ecological transition and territory Cohesion,  H.E. Prof. Judi  Wakhungu E.G.H., Ambassador of Kenya in France, and Mrs. Veronika Chabrol, Deputy Head of the Division Education of the French Development Agency (AFD.