Iran to transfer nanotechnology to Kenya
The Ambassador, Islamic Republic of Iran-Kenya, Dr. Jafar Barmaki met with the Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Nairobi (UoN), Prof. Stephen Kiama, the Vice-Chancellor, JKUAT, Prof. Victoria Ngumi and representatives from Kenyatta (KU) and Pan African Universities to discuss the transfer of nanotechnology (nanotech) to the Africa continent and the establishment of a nanotechnology laboratory in Kenya.
University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Stephen Kiama, assured the team that UoN has a ready space to host the laboratory. That would save the Embassy on the cost of implementation because only equipment will be required.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Jafar Barmaki said that Iran’s stance towards Africa was different and that the country had a keen interest on sharing nanotechnology knowledge with Africa.
“Our stance towards Africa is different, we want to give this technology without focusing on money. Nano technology is a medium science because it facilitates other sciences.”
On his part, Amb. Simon Nabukwesi expressed that the transfer of nanotechnology to Kenya will go a long way in supporting the government’s Big Four agenda, Vision 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals and AU’s Agenda 2063.
“We would like to focus on uses of Nano Technology in surfaces and coating, application in textiles, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, use in agriculture and computer science because on the manufacturing end we don’t have the capacity.” Noted Prof. Francis Mulaa, Department of Bio-chemistry, UoN.
Phase one of the nanotech project will be the training of trainers (TOT). TOT is basically a one to three-month programme that will build capacity among qualified Professors in the field and technicians that will be working at the laboratories.
While the TOT is ongoing, the four universities will be working towards the development of a Master’s of Science in Nanotechnology and related courses at their institutions. Once the Nano Tech courses has been established at the universities then students will get a chance to do their fellowships in Iran.
The draft memorandum of understanding to be signed by the four participating universities will be prepared while the location of the laboratory will be agreed upon in due time.