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  • Egerton University had invited bidders for the below mentioned tenders via tender notice dated 23rdSeptember,2020 on the Public Procurement Information Portal www.tenders.go.keand on the University website

  • The AAP Consortium, through the AAP Bridge and other partnership grants such as Partnerships for Innovative Research in Africa (PIRA) grant program, has given the Egerton fraternity opportunities to conduct innovative research that will be useful to Kenya and Africa at large.

    From the Public Dialogue Series on COVID-19 Pandemic Responses and Lessons Learned, I shared measures taken by Egerton University to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, and I also learnt and implemented some of the measures other institutions in Africa are doing on the same. The disruption was unprecedented and we responded innovatively.

    In 2021 and beyond, I would like to see more partnerships, opportunities for dialogues and discussions, and calls for proposals targeted to institutions in the Global South. Read More...

  • At Egerton University, we are always eager to hear incredible stories of how our Alumni are transforming lives in their different professions. Recently, the Egerton University Alumni Relations Office spoke to Lr Buoga Jared Omondi who agreed to share with us his amazing journey. Jared is currently the Delivery Director, President's Delivery Unit (PDU) in the Executive Office of the President, Kenya. He is our Alumnus of the week.
    "My desire to follow my passion in Natural Sciences began at a tender age. This was exhibited by my stellar performance in the sciences and geography coupled with practical engagement in nature oriented field activities, exhibitions, presentations and studies. In Maseno School I dominated Science Congress competitions through to the National stage. These inspired me to pursue natural resources management.
    From Maseno School, I joined Egerton University, Njoro Main Campus to study Natural Resources Management in August 2002. Egerton University shaped my life and worldview about conservation and management of natural resources.
    I joined the Youth Wildlife and Environmental Movement (YWEM) Egerton Chapter in first year. There was an election for YWEM leadership during the same semester in the month of October, occasioned by vacation of office by senior leaders who were due for graduation later in the year.
    I vied for the post of Deputy Director and won. During our tenure, we revamped the movement to greater heights. I led in organizing the annual Youth Environment Symposium (YES) where we invited high profile guests from UNEP, Government Agencies and Departments to speak to members.
    I coordinated and rallied students to participate in the Annual Egerton University Conservation Week. The Annual Conservation Week was a very spectacular event for the University. It brought all stakeholders in efforts to conserve Mau Forest. It gave me a chance to interact with many dignitaries across the globe who joined the annual event.
    The then University Vice Chancellor, Prof Ezra Maritim, was very supportive of the programme and exposed us to numerous partners both in the private sector and academia. When I was later elected as the Director – YWEM, it was a norm that the VC would rely on our input when planning and executing environmental and natural resources management activities in the school.
    I led the student team to the Annual East African Environment Network (EAEN) Conference for 4 consecutive years among other notable events and activities. I led a comprehensive tree name tagging ever done in the University.
    *Community Work*
    My aspiration to reach out to many youths and prospective students to join Natural Science courses inspired me to register a community organization in my home District (Siaya) in 2003, while I was a second year student. Thus, in April 2003, Tembea Youth Centre for Sustainable Development (Tembea) was established.
    The organization that would later be my employer after my graduation from Egerton in 2007 for seven years played a significant role in incubating and nurturing skills, innovation towards conservation. Whereas, I was an ardent natural resources management student, my first experience and interaction with GIS and Remote Sensing came about when I learnt about the GIS Day during the long holidays of May – Dec 2004.
    I was invited as a Director of my young organization by Ugunja Community Resource Centre (UCRC) to a meeting to coordinate and host the Nov 2004 GIS Day. I took a lot of interest in the application during the period. We were led by one illustrious lady called M’Lis FLin from Australia who had come to volunteer with UCRC at the time. She was so passionate about GIS, she was inducted in GIS and RS.
    I found out that GIS was very instrumental in the course I was following at the University. She inspired me and gave me inspiration to follow the dream of applying GIS and RS in Natural Resources Management. Needless to stay, what followed next…..
    *Geoinformation Science and Remote Sensing Inclusion Drive*
    In Jan 2005 when we resumed our studies, I was burning with passion to share with my student colleagues and our faculty dean Prof Lelo about GIS. My first stop was at Prof Lelo’s office, apart from being our dean, he was the Patron to YWEM.
    I impressed on him how important GIS and RS is very essential for our class and our course. I shared with him the CDs with demos showing how to manipulate geographical data and its application in natural resources management. In short, we needed a course unit on GIS and Remote Sensing to be included as one of the units to be taught to us.
    I shared the materials and information with my colleague students to get enough support over the same. It wasn’t an easy process to quickly accommodate our class to be taught by Dr. Onyando, who was from the Faculty of Engineering. As a cohort, we did not succeed to get the unit considered. But I am happy to report that out of the pressure and efforts, subsequent cohorts benefited.
    However, at a personal level, I became a private student of Dr. Onyando, who took me through the basics of geoinformation science and earth observations. It is Dr. Onyando and later Dr. Ogola who taught us photogrammetry that first mentioned to us about ITC Faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observations, The Netherlands.
    *The Scholarship Application Attempts*
    My first attempt to join the ITC Faculty of Geoinformation Science was in 2009.
    I made two other subsequent unsuccessful attempts and gave up. However, in Oct 2012, a ray beamed at the end of the tunnel of lost hope. I successfully won a NUFFIC scholarship for Certificate International Short Course – Adaptive Management for Natural Resources Management: Supporting decentralized forest and nature Management for rural development under the auspices of the Centre for Development Innovation (CDI), Wageningen University Research, Netherlands and Kwame Nkurumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), in Ghana.
    During the course, I shared my predicaments with the Course Director – Dr. Rozemeijer, Nico, a jovial fellow. He encouraged me to try again and gave me some insights. The NUFFIC had just opened the system for applications running through to 15th March 2013 at the time. On this last stab, I was placed on a provisional list of prospective scholarship recipients. I was so excited when a confirmation came in July 2013, that I had been selected.
    This was a shot in the arm, two successive scholarships from NUFFIC!!.
    Life at ITC, the Netherlands is such a wonder. A rigorous academic programme, lovely people, delicious food, people riding cycles of all shapes and forms, a host of international students, seasoned lecturers and professors from all Ivy League Universities and Institutions - that come adorned in a cocktail of characters and personalities - lovely, humble, compassionate, enthusiastic and strict in the same measure.
    Upon mr return in March 2015, my desire was to put my professional skills into practice. I must appreciate and acknowledge the effort that the Dutch Embassy in Kenya has made to her NUFFIC recipients Alumni network.
    Professionally, I have had the honor to support as a consultant to European Union Funded Projects in the rangelands under various organizations in the region and across Africa. I serve in School Boards and offer my professional services through Leaf Magnet Research and Development Ltd. I currently serve as the Delivery Director, President’s Delivery Unit in the Executive Office of the President of Kenya."
    NB: This story obtained some input from the Netherlands Alumni Association of Kenya Facebook page with permission from Jared. Jared is a recipient of the Dutch Government Scholarship (OKP, formerly NUFFIC).
  • Greetings to the Alumni at the Forty-First Graduation Ceremeony of Egerton University! Congratulations on the hardwork you have done. You have beengiven the tools; now put them to work.
    I'm grateful that Egerton gave methe first tools that headed me in thedirection of agriculture, setting mycourse in life when I was 17 years old, theright time to do it. It started me off on mycareer of thirty-three years working forthe United States Department ofAgriculture (USDA) in AgriculturalResearch.
    World War II was not yet half overw h e n t h e Eg er t o n F a r m S ch o o lestablished a programme for an expectedinflux of returning white servicemen whowould want to get into agriculture oncethe war came to an end. Participating inthat programme was a perfect experiencefor me. I was born and raised in Kenyaand was familiar with the environmentbut had no knowledge of the details ofhow crops were grown and livestockmanaged.
    I was one of three young men whowere recruited as sort of guinea pigs – aDane, an Irishman, and a Yank – to helpthe staff develop a-learn-by-doingagricultural training programme. I hearthat there is something like a myth nowcentred on “The First Three” studentswith whom the school started.
    The three of us trainees were giventhe use of a new home which was nicelyfurnished. Perhaps it was intended for aninstructor who couldn't be hired becauseof wartime shortages. The school hired aman as a cook and housekeeper for us.We three had no contact with the youngerstudents at the junior secondary schoolwhich was part of the Egerton schoolcum-training-farm.
    Since a big part of the training wasthe “doing”, the three of us worked together on most projects. There weretogether on most projects. There wereexceptions, like when we took turns atmilking. A lot of our time was spent doingmanual labour. But we also did “booklearning”.
    mr paul r nixonMr. Paul R. Nixon peruses a document at his home in Fredericksburg, Texas, USA. (Photo courtesy of Mr. Nixon)Economics is a vital part ofsuccessful farming. We discussed therotation of crops, and the economics ofvarious crops. We made estimates of costs of various steps involved incosts of various steps involved ingrowing and marketing of a crop orlivestock. This included dealing with abank, whether asking for a cash advanceor a longer term loan. We had to makeproper conversions in various systems ofweights and measures. Another big part was the understanding of the growth processes of plants and animals. We could barelyplants and animals. We could barelytouch the surface of this vast subject. Ihope future students of a short course willkeep their notes and be prompted tof u r t h e r s t u d y. B e c a u s e o f t i m elimitations, we hardly dwelt on subjectslike soils and weather, let alone anysubjects worthy of Ph.D. dissertations.
    My personal interest was in farmimplements, particularly the school'sFarmall tractor. I enjoyed tinkering withit, supposedly improving the timing ofengine performance. We had a new Fordpickup truck to use on the job, and one ofthe other two trainees ran it off the muddyroad into a bank. I think I was theprincipal's pet because, after that, he saidthat I was to be the only one to drive it.
    I had brought my 3030 Winchesterrifle to school with me and used it to killmeat for the table and to scare off gamethat raided our field crops.Thinking back, I realise howvaluable my six months at Egerton werein shaping my career. My first job was atthe Menengai Estates wheat fields. I usedwhat I learned at Egerton in duties suchas keeping the threshers on combineharvesters in running order.
    Next I went to work for the KenyaSoil Conservation Service (KSCS). Twoof my special friends in the KSCS wereOnesmus Musyoki, who went on to anoutstanding career in soil conservation inUkambani, and Peter Koinange, the sonof a Kikuyu paramount chief. Sometimeson walks during off-duty hours I enjoyedwonderful discussions with these menwho were secondary school graduates,which was not common in those days,and we all had a love for the land. Theywere several years older than I. We oftentalked about the need for preventing theland's deterioration by erosion fromrainfall.
    Another one of the people I workedwith was a rod man on the surveyingteam, who was about my age. He and Ialso had many discussions, with each ofus vigorously arguing our point of view.He pointed out the inequities in thetreatment of the native people and the unfairness of settlers' privileges, while Iunfairness of settlers' privileges, while Imaintained the point of view of somewazungu. I sincerely regret that, as youngas I was, I did not have a broader, morebalanced understanding at the time.
    I was an American citizen by birth,and registered for the draft when I turned18, but was not called to service untilover two and a half years later, when Iwas working for the KSCS. I worked as asurveyor in the US Army AviationEngineers battalion, which was buildingand maintaining airfields in Egypt andArabia.
    At the end of World War II, I went tonight school at Brooklyn High School inNew York to finish my secondarytraining, and was accepted to college.Iowa State University was recognised asthe premier agricultural traininginstitution, so that's where I went for myBachelor's degree. After working for theUSDA Soil Conservation Service for twoyears, I returned to Iowa State for aM a s t e r ' s d e g r e e i n a g r i c u l t u r a lengineering. Later in my career, I had theopportunity to go to Stanford Universityfor a Master's degree in hydrology.
    The first half of my career, whichwas in California, was in watermanagement engineering, and the lasthalf was in Texas, where I worked inremote sensing using aircraft andsatellite data. In California, my principalduties were as leader of a court-orderedmulti-agency study of ground waterrecharge in the Santa Ynez River lowerbasin. A large reservoir had been built onone side of a mountain range, and atunnel dug to deliver water to counties onthe other side. When I delivered the finalreport of the study's findings, I hadworked myself out of a job.
    In Texas, one activity was asPrincipal Investigator of the HeatCapacity Mapping Mission of theNational Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration (NASA), using satellitedata. Then, during the last several yearsof my career, I was at the USDASubtropical Research Labs as researchleader, where we were developing techniques that related to ground, aircrafttechniques that related to ground, aircraftand satellite information, and theirapplication to soils, climate, andcropping practices and problems. Thisincluded developing procedures for thecoordinate use of satellite data systems.LANDSAT, NOAA-7, and GOES werestate of the art at the time.
    I went back to Kenya sixty yearsafter leaving, found a population seventimes what it was when I was there, andwas pleased to see the changes that hadtaken place, even sky scrapers in Nairobi.What progress! Of course it also broughtproblems, starting with a growingpopulation's strain on natural resources.
    Compare the Kenya of the old dayswith today's where it seems everybody iswearing shoes and carrying phones. Atour time, in the interior, there were nomeans of wheeled transport, roads ortowns; there were digging sticks insteadof jembes, no working for wages, nomethod of writing or numbering systems,no standard weights or measures, and nocalendar. Kenya has come a long waysince that period of history.
    Now there is technology. Africanshave not only grasped but alsochampioned some of the technologicalinnovations. Kenya almost skipped overlandline phones and went straight tomobile, for example. All this speaks wellfor an ambitious people.
    There's been such a big step ineducation. I'm thrilled that Egerton hasdeveloped into such an outstandinguniversity, and it is due in large part to anexcellent faculty and bright studentsdriven by ambition who decide to cometo it.
    Egerton University's graduands of2019 will spearhead Kenya's future. Ihope that every one of you, in whateveryou do and in whatever venue, will bringbenefit to the people of Kenya andbeyond, thereby bestowing honour upon Egerton University.
  • Egerton University has once again topped the charts in Kenya, Africa, and in the world in the January 2021 webometrics ranking that scored universities on 'Impact', 'Openness', and 'Excellence'. 


    As a student, you can still sanitize/wash your hands, keep social distancing and wear masks while having fun at the campus. Starting from 29th January, the Egerton University COVID -19 sensitization team has been going around Njoro Campus hostels and off-campus hostels to sensitize students on COVID-19 preventative measures. 

  • Art of Countering Violent Extremism in Kenya: Images, Texts, Things

    Egerton University and Volkswagen Foundation wish you to invite to an exhibition titled 'Art of Countering Violent Extremism in Kenya: Images, Texts, Things' to be held at the Nairobi National Museum and on virtual platforms between 08-28 February 2021. The exhibition is convened by Dr. Halkano A. Wario as part of his Volkswagen Foundation supported project. You are also invited to four virtual seminars organized within the exhibition framework on 09, 15, 18 and 25 February 2021. Watch this space for the seminar posters announcements. 

  • My early years bring for memories of the hard struggle my parents wagedto provide a living for our family. Welived in the village of Makuyuni, a tinystation on the railway line from Tanga toMoshi, and our sole possession was asmall duka. We had no electricity, norunning water, and we had to contendwith a hole dug in the ground for a toilet.Our house provided no protection fromthe heat wave, which caused such aserious infection in my eye that I nearlylost my sight.
    With little understanding of ourcircumstances, one day I asked my Dad:“Why do you always choose the last trainon Sunday night for the trip from Tangato Makuyuni”? “My son”, he saidthoughtfully, “this is when the third classticket is cheapest, as the train is almostempty. This is all we can afford.”
    Despite the hardships, my parentsdreamt of a different future for theirchildren, and that meant giving them thebest education. Spurred by their dream, Icompleted my Cambridge O-levels.
    (Grade 12). Moving ahead would have(Grade 12). Moving ahead would havebeen difficult, but I was fortunate toqualify for an Aga Khan Scholarship.This took me to Egerton College inKenya, where I enrolled in the class of1965 to study Agriculture.
    The freedom that college broughtdazzled me. There I was, playing theguitar and Beatles music, becomingcaptain of the cricket team, partying inthe Junior Common Room, and havingfun travelling to Nakuru, Nairobi, andMombasa. But lo and behold: At the endof my first year, I got the dreadful“Academic Warning”. The writing wason the wall: I could go home withoutcompleting college.
    It was our new Principal, Dr. WilliamOdongo Omamo, who saved me. Oneday while walking from lecture room A1to the Administration Building, I heard avoice from behind: “My boys, have youfinished your lectures? What are yougoing to do next?” He was so welcoming,concerned, and sincere that I became allattention. “You may have all the fun 7th editionMr. Sadru Nazarali (left) at a Field Survey practical during his diploma studies at Egerton Agricultural College in 1965-1967 (All photos in the story courtesy of Mr. Nazarali)youwant, but make sure you study hard. Be careful not to waste your chance tocareful not to waste your chance tobecome someone of substance andchange your destiny. If I can help you inanyway, please do not hesitate to call onme”, was his advice. I instantly knewthat I would never let him – and myself –down.
    I concentrated on my studies, alwaysdriven ahead by the spirit of seriousnessthat prevailed at the College, and in theend I not only survived but triumphed. Ireceived my diploma in 1967 at agraduation ceremony honoured by hisExcellency President Jomo Kenyatta ofKenya.I w a s t h e fi r s t g r a d u a t e o fpostsecondary education in my familyhistory. My parents felt honoured andwere greatly proud of me. But mysuccess was accompanied by amazingresponsibilities. The onus was now onme to help my family. I was lucky to get ajob with a large farming conglomerate,Karimjee Jivanji Estates, at a tea plantation in the Usambara Mountains inplantation in the Usambara Mountains inTanzania. I soon qualified to attend theTea Managers course at the Kericho TeaSchool, and became an AssistantManager on the plantation, which hadapproximately 400 tea-pluckers and 100field supervisors.
    At home in Tanga, with my mother,who was blessed with a green thumb, wewent into a seedling plant business aswell as a home-based food processingbusiness. Unfortunately, this excitingbeginning was suddenly interrupted in am a n n e r t h a t h a d f a r - r e a c h i n gconsequences for our family and for theeconomy of Tanzania.
    In late 1970 and 1971, as aconsequence of nationalisation, manyAsians lost their business assets, farmsand plantations, and everything else wepossessed. There was a group ofEgertonians in Tanzania who had kept inclose touch since graduation, and in thespirit of oneness built up over the years,we collectively decided to look for theproverbial greener pastures elsewhere. Inthe course of twelve months, ten of uslanded in Canada, many finding home inEdmonton. Over the next five years weattracted other friends, besides bringingour parents and siblings.
    Canada is a country with a strong civil society, respect for democracy, andcivil society, respect for democracy, andappreciation for pluralism. It also ensuressecurity of property and business. Westarted building our new lives there. Overthe years, we Egertonians flourished inbusiness, politics, philanthropy, andglobal citizenship. Our children attendedthe best schools we could wish for andprospered too.
    I have been involved in multiplebusiness ventures, including financialplanning, building a chain of retail stores,real estate development, coordinatingi n t e r n a t i o n a l r e c r u i t m e n t o fprofessionals, and providing advice forother immigrant communities inbusiness and real estate.
    I was the first Edmonton ChapterChair of the Aga Khan DevelopmentNetwork (AKDN), an organisationwhich provides various types ofassistance to the developing world. Oneof our first activities was to organise apartnership walk in Edmonton in 1985.From an initial number of 145 walkerswe have now reached 4,000. Thesewalkers get donation pledges for projectsin various countries in Africa and Asia.Our collaborative work with the AgaKhan University in Karachi, Pakistan,has been recognised by His Highness the Aga Khan.Aga Khan.
    I was also instrumental in gettingthree Ismaili Centers established inEdmonton. I am presently involved insetting up a multigenerational housingfor senior citizens near one of theCentres.
    The Nazarali family has also beensupporting political campaigns inCanada for the last forty years. This hasled to close associations with manypoliticians, including Prime MinisterStephen Harper and Prime MinisterJustin Trudeau of Canada.
    My joy of assisting development inAfrica never stops. As President of theCanada-Tanzania Business Council, Iwas able to host President JakayaKikwete of Tanzania twice in Canada.Building capacity for the youth hasbeen another focus in my efforts, and Imake sure that my generation as a wholetakes pride in this endeavour. In thisparticular initiative, I have sought andfound alignments with many similarorganisations.In all I do, I am deeply conscious ofhow Egerton College has taught me toresolve local issues with global solutions.
  • dr david mulamaDr. David Mulama Amudavi (right) with Biovision Farmer CommunicationDr. David Mulama Amudavi (right) with Biovision Farmer CommunicationProgramme Advisory Board Chair, Mr. John Njoroge of the Kenya Institute of OrganicFarming visit one of the Biovision outreach projects in Kirinyaga County, on 14December 2017. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Amudavi)I would like you to bring that capI would like you to bring that caphome”, my father whispered to me as heguided me to a spot from which I couldbest follow the graduation ceremony atthe University of Nairobi in 1984. I wasone of my dad's ten children, and, withthe foresight he possessed regarding thepower of education, he wanted all of us todo well in school. Soon, I became thesubject of his particular encouragementas he had discerned an academic interestand thirst for knowledge in me. Today Iam what I am because of his vision forme. My father's words sank deep into my consciousness. The more I thought about consciousness. The more I thought aboutthem the more I was convinced thatnothing could stop me from making thema reality. Sadly, my father did not livelong enough to experience the pride ofmy having acquired three “caps” – fromKenya, Australia, and North America.
    That momentous graduation tookplace just before I joined Alliance HighSchool for my A-level following a sterling performance as the best O-levelsterling performance as the best O-levelcandidate at Kakamega High School.Those days Kakamega High wasrenowned for its great football team, theGreen Commandos, who still play today.I marvelled at the wonders theyperformed on the field, but mostlyfocused on my academic assignments.
    The day my dad took me to Alliance isetched in my memory. This was theschool I had longed to join ever since Ihad scored 3 A's in the Kenya Certificateof Primary Education Examinations – theschool that would make me “strong to serve”.serve”.
    I completed my studies at Allianceand gladly accepted my second choicefor my higher education (the first hadbeen medicine) – that of Bachelor ofScience in Agricultural Education andExtension at Egerton University. Thisturned out to be a great bi-professionalprogramme in agriculture and educationthat saw me benefit from the great coaching, mentorship and guidance bycoaching, mentorship and guidance byEgerton dons, including the late Prof.Wycliffe Ong'ondo, Prof. Joash Kibett,Prof. Nephat Kathuri, and Prof.Christopher Onyango. When time camefor teaching practice, I went to Moi HighSchool, Kabarak, together with mycolleague, the late Dr. Mary ChepkiteLopokoiyit. As for my field attachment, itwas in Nyandarua County, where Ishared a room with two other students,one of whom is now a high schoolprincipal and the other a senioragricultural economist in the Ministry ofAgriculture.
    Going through various courses ofmy programme, referred to as AGED,shaped my professional future. We wouldbe up at 4am, dressed in aprons andgumboots, to start Livestock Procedures,which we called Livestock Duties.Dealing with poultry, sheep, goats, andmilking dairy cows manually and withthe use of machines made me appreciatethe value of hands-on experience. I wasthrilled to learn to drive and operate afarm tractor under the direction of Prof.Godfrey Ngunjiri and his team inAgricultural Engineering. Prof. LouisMumera taught us to keep time. If youcame to his class late, he would stopteaching until you, the unpardonablewrongdoer, left the room. This instilled inme a great sense of discipline.
    Life on campus was exciting andgenerally free of trouble. The HigherEducation Loans Board allowance wewere given, the famous “boom”, wassufficient to meet all our basic needs. Thefood was excellent. We used to have awonderful breakfast with quality tea,bread, sausages, and fruits. A sense ofcommunity developed among us as weshared our delicious meals.
    O n c o m p l e t i o n o f m yundergraduate studies, I had the option ofteaching Agriculture and Biology in ahigh school or joining agricultural e x t e n s i o n w i t h t h e M i n i s t r y o fe x t e n s i o n w i t h t h e M i n i s t r y o fAgriculture or a related institution. Ichose teaching, and in June 1990 theTeachers Service Commission (TSC)posted me to Lumakanda Girls inWestern Kenya. However, as graduationapproached, I was both surprised andproud to be offered the position ofTeaching Assistant in my Department ofAgricultural Education and Extension.This was on account of the first classhonours degree I had obtained and thestrong grade in the dreaded Grade PointAggregate (GPA) system. By 1 October1990 I was back at Egerton as a “TA”.Transiting from a student to a universityacademic staff member so quicklyinspired me beyond measure, and I couldsee myself becoming a professor oneday! I was now “material” for staffdevelopment. I did not disappoint.
    Within one year, I was awarded ascholarship from Australia's Equity andMerit Scholarship Scheme (EMSS). Ijoined Melbourne University for aM a s t e r ' s p r o g r a m m e , w h i c h Isuccessfully completed. In addition, itwas while at Melbourne that I met theyoung woman who would become mywife.
    In 1994, I returned to Egerton andcontinued teaching my favourite subjects– Agricultural Extension, RuralSociology, Technical Report Writing,and Communication Skills.
    Within three years, I became alecturer.
    Teaching with a Master's degree at theUniversity was not good enough for me,nor did the University encourage it. I hadalways wanted to study either in theUnited States or Europe for myd o c t o r a t e . M y s t r o n g a c a d e m i cbackground, established by EgertonUniversity and buttressed by MelbourneUniversity, saw me land a RockefellerFoundation Scholarship in 2001 topursue a doctorate in Adult andExtension Education with minors inDevelopmental Sociology and NaturalResource Management (NRM) atCornell University, USA. I obtained myPh.D. degree and returned to Egerton University in 2005.University in 2005.
    Soon after, in July 2006, I undertook atwo-year postdoctoral fellowship withthe International Centre of InsectPhysiology and Ecology (ICIPE), undertheir project “Creating Smallholder-LedG r o w t h t h r o u g h ' P u s h - P u l l 'Technologies in Eastern Africa”. As partof my work on this project, I supervisedtwo Ph.D. and five Master's students.
    The postdoctoral opportunitytriggered a life-changing turn in mycareer. I was suddenly faced with adilemma: Should I continue teaching orshould I join ICIPE as a senior scientist?If I settled for ICIPE, I would coordinatea Farmer Communication Programme(FCP) and start a new organisationaround it. After considerable thought, Ileft teaching. I have not regretted mydecision.
    In 2011, I started the BiovisionAfrica Trust (BvAT) based at ICIPE, inKasarani, Nairobi. As the ExecutiveDirector I oversee the running of all itsprogrammes in Kenya and Africa. Theorganisation runs an FCP, to promotefood security, economic growth, andenvironmental stability. It disseminatesinformation and knowledge to farmersthrough multiple channels, whichinclude Infonet-Biovision (a web-basedknowledge platform); The OrganicFarmer Magazine; The Organic FarmerRadio (TOF Radio), which airsagricultural news on KBC and somevernacular stations; Mkulima Mbunifu, afarmers' magazine for Tanzania; andoutreach programmes with farmerresource centres in 13 counties in Kenya.We put effort into facilitating the sharingof information, knowledge, andexperiences from farmer-to-farmer, andexperts-to-farmers and vice-versa.
    T h r o u g h m y o rg a n i s at i o n Icoordinate the African Union-supportedEcological Organic Agriculture (EOA)Initiative implemented in nine countriesin Africa (i.e. Benin, Kenya, Ethiopia,Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Rwanda,Tanzania, and Uganda). The overall goalof the initiative is to mainstream EOAinto national agricultural production systems by 2025 to improve agriculturalsystems by 2025 to improve agriculturalproductivity, food security, access tomarkets, and sustainable development inAfrica. I also oversee the Secretariat ofthe Continental Steering Committeeproviding oversight to the continentalinitiative on behalf of the African UnionC o m m i s s i o n . I c o o r d i n a t e t h eK n o w l e d g e C e n t r e o n O r g a n i cAgriculture in Africa for the EasternAfrica region currently covering Kenya,Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda. Thegoal of the project is to ensure knowledgehubs are successfully introduced as aninnovative strategy for promotingorganic agriculture in West, East, andSouthern Africa.
    I have alliances in promotinggenuine sustainable agriculture that gobeyond Africa. In this regard I waselected member of the World Board ofthe International Federation of OrganicAgriculture Movements (IFOAM) –International Organics. The 10-memberteam is charged with overseeing andsupporting IFOAM's work in growingthe global organic marketplace,communicating the benefits of organicagriculture, training organic leaders, andfacilitating capacity-building for organicfarmers.
    Though currently working at theinterface of research, practice, andpolicy, I continue to connect withacademia through supervision ofgraduate students and undertaking of therole of an external examiner for Ph.D.and Master's theses from variousuniversities in East Africa.
    I will forever be indebted to EgertonU n i v e r s i t y f o r m y v e r s a t i l i t y,disposition, strength, and resilience toserve in many capacities while workingwith farmers, researchers, practitioners,a c a d e m i c s , p o l i c y m a k e r s , a n ddevelopment partners not only in Kenyabut also across our great continent andthe globe.Long live Egerton University!
  • Dr. Purity Ngina first rose to fame when she became the youngest Ph.D. holder in Biomathematics that she attained at Strathmore University in 2018 at the age of 28.

    She had three publications to her name and she mainly published papers on HIV/AIDS as she felt that it had affected many people in society. "Many people are unaware that mathematics can offer solutions to diseases. I saw a gap that needed a voice and that kept me going," she shares.

    Her journey has not been an easy one as she has had her fair share of ups and downs.

    "I grew up in Nyeri county in Kieni East in a small village called Mbiriri. My brother and I were raised by a single mother. I completed primary school in 2002 and unfortunately, I did not do well as I got 235 marks out of 500," Dr. Ngina recalls.

    Her mother urged her to re-sit, her KCPE as she knew the value of education especially since she hadn't been able to acquire an education herself. In 2003 she re-did her exams and attained 369 marks. Luckily, she managed to secure a spot in TumuTumu Girls, based in Karatina in 2004.


    Getting into high school

    "It was my first time to be away from home. I struggled to fit in especially since my mum could barely afford the shopping. I decided to bury myself in books and I figured that education would take me places. I also joined the choir and got involved in activities that helped me adapt to the new environment. Deep down I knew I had to do my best," she narrates.

    With a lot of perseverance and a lot of sleepless nights, she successfully finished her High School Education by scoring a B plus. In 2009, she joined Egerton University to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Education, Science, Maths, and Chemistry.

    Via: Nation Media
  • Egerton University’s Ag. Vice-Chancellor Prof. Isaac O. Kibwage (right) on 15 February 2021 paid a courtesy call to Eng. Philemon Kandie (left), Ag. Director-General, Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) at Barabara Plaza, Nairobi.

  • Delivered on Friday, 25th June 2021 At Egerton University Njoro.


    Prof. Isaac Kibwage, VC Egerton University
    Prof Kipkemboi - DVC Academic Affairs
    Prof Mulwa-Dean of Student: Prof Odero
    All other invited dignitaries
    Ajira Digital Club Members and the student fraternity
    Ladies and Gentlemen

    Good morning!


    1. First, May I take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for getting time to attend this important event-The Egerton University Ajira club launch. I want to extend special appreciation from my ministry to the Egerton University management led by Vice Chancellor Prof. Kibwage and the organizers of this function who are the Ajira digital program champions for a job well done in planning and organizing today’s function.
    2. The Ajira Digital Program, since its inception in 2016, has managed to empower thousands of youths across the country with employable skills that have enabled them to leverage and take advantage of the numerous digital job opportunities available. As we speak today, the country prides itself of slightly over one million digital workforce which is highly attributed to the efforts put forth by my ministry through the Ajira Program.
    3. Ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a great pleasure to note that this university, having been among the first universities to have their students benefit from the program, has kept the fire burning in steering Ajira Digital Program activities within the campus. It is owing to your continuous and determined efforts that today we are gathered here to witness this Club launch. I therefore want you to know that indeed, when the history book of digital economy transformation in Kenya will be written, you surely will have a page in it!! So, part on your back for you are on the right side of history.
    4. As a Ministry and through the Ajira Digital Program we will continue to work closely with our partners to reach out to every Kenyan out there, both in and out of colleges, urging them to aggressively grab these opportunities that the program offers to enhance their skillset and subsequently earn a decent living through working on the digital and digitally-enabled jobs opportunities available within the digital workspace.
    5.  Ladies and gentlemen, today’s event is a culmination of the ministry’s efforts in 2018 in which we initiated a partnership with higher learning institutions, and we started rolling out the Ajira Digital program in Universities/TVETs.It therefore gladdens my heart to report that among successful implementers of the program and whose student have greatly benefited is this university. In November 2018, we trained the Egerton University first cohort and about 100 students underwent a one-week intensive training on the Ajira Digital Program.
    6. Since then, we embarked on a series of engagement with the University and despite the Covid-19 pandemic, it is exciting to note that we have been conducting trainings through emobilis technologies-our implanting partners ,in which additional over 200 students have benefited from the program and a good number are now earning a decent income. Today, I am happy to report that we have several success stories within the University, and as witnessed earlier Ajira Digital program is indeed transforming lives of our youths. This is a true testimony of what the Ajira program is all about.
    7. Ladies and Gentlemen, as I stand before you today , I am glad to inform this gathering that through the Ajira Digital program, we have encountered several students from Egerton University both current and former who are earning a decent living. With your permission, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to mention a few of the Program’s student beneficiaries who are earning decently from online work opportunities : Maureen Chepkirui a former student is earning an average of Ksh.45,000 a month and is now a professional Transcriber in major transcription platform,Julius Wachira who works as a virtual assistant, Natasha Nadida working as a data entry expert and Grian Ngacha as social media expert who are both earning an average amount of kSh.10,000- 15,000 a month while being students of this great University.
    8. In an effort to progressively expand our efforts to implement the program better; we have hired over 200 Ajira Trainees as our Ajira Digital trainers, over 90 Center managers and mentors under our implementing partner eMobilis.Further, the ministry is working closely with Judiciary through the digitization firms, the Adept and Deproim technologies in providing transcription and digitization job opportunities to our Ajira Trainees. Indeed, the digitization and transcription excises have so far been pioneered in Mombasa, Kisumu and Nairobi law courts in which over 700 youths have already been hired and the plan is to eventually roll it in all the courts. I believe that this will be a great opportunity to all the Ajira Trainees seated here today and those prospecting.
    9. Ladies and Gentlemen, so allow me to make a special plea to all the students listening to me today, and who without any doubt are members of the Ajira Club, to focus on the digital skills being offered for free through the Ajira Digital Program by the Government. As you all know, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit hard the world, and people have been forced to work remotely from home. While many employees have been laid off, online workers have been thriving and their workspace is safe to conduct business and deliver services. Fellow Kenyans, it's now time to fully embrace technological changes and innovations to promote remote working as alternative employment. Globally, many countries invested a lot in online work and they are generating a lot of revenue in billions to their respective economies and that is our absolute goal as a country.
    10. As Government, we believe that "Digital work is work" and that the gig-economy workstream is similar to any other job that demands a high level of professionalism, commitment and hard work. Therefore, we need to constantly remind our youths to keep fast-tracking their digital skills in exploring the gig economy's possibilities.
    11. As a ministry, we have initiated several strategic programs that aim at promoting ICT know-how highly required to thrive in this fourth industrial revolution. Among such programs is "The Presidential Digital Talent Program (PDTP)", an internship programme that develops the ICT talent pool in Kenya through a collaboration between the public and private sectors. Every year, 400 fresh graduates are given a chance to intern for 12 months within Government setup and the private sector to gain hands-on skills in readiness to enter the job market. Today I wish to inform you that in the current cohort, we have several interns from Egerton University who have proved to be among the best skilled in their area of study.
    12. The Digital Literacy Program aims to introduce our young children to ICT skills at a young age with the fundamental goal of exposing them to technology and empowering them. This will see us instill the spirit and capabilities of innovation in our citizens, creating a more technologically vibrant generation in the next decade or so. Over 75,000 teachers from public primary schools have been trained and ready for full implementation of the program geared to increased national digital literacy levels and revolution of the country’s digital economy.
    13.  Ajira Youth Empowerment Centers: To support our youth in their quest for digital learning and digital service delivery, the Ministry has partnered with the CDF to establish four Constituency Innovation Hubs, now known as Ajira Youth Empowerment Centers, in each constituency. The hubs are fully furnished with internet and furniture, and the youth are encouraged to visit the nearest CIHs and benefit from the facilities. I, therefore, challenge the students here to find out their nearest CIHs and utilize them.
    14.  Huduma WhiteBox, the program is a one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to present/share/sell an idea, innovation, invention or solution. I urge every youth present to bring forward innovations and idea for support and promotion, priority will be given to products that focus on the Big 4 Agenda and address Government priorities and challenges. As Government we shall help you on how to protect and commercialize your innovations.
    15. Lastly, I wish to put more emphasis on Innovation and embracing of the gig economy for all Kenyan. World over, every great economy block have capitalized on the digital economy and Kenya will not be left behind but to lead the way for Africa. The Government through the ministry is in the forefront to ensure Konza Technopolis is completed in good time to promote the county’s economic pillar and woo investor to Kenya. I believe this is the route to a Kenyan "Silicon Valley”.
    16. With those few remarks, I wish to declare the Egerton University Ajira Digital Club officially launched. Thank you for you all and God bless you.


    God bless you all.

  • Live and Die in My Motherland or Leave?

    By Olive Nekesa Okumu

    Some time back, my eleven-year-old sister, ever inquisitive and probing into matters one would think were above her age, asked me what my choice would be if I was given a second chance to be born and this time in any country in the world I fancied. I found myself too ready to answer. “Well”, I said, “I am not sure which country I would choose, but it would definitely not be Kenya.” My kid sister, who had obviously asked the same question of herself, said that she would choose to be born in Kenya time and time again because there was no other place on earth like her motherland.

    I was reminded of that conversation when I saw the topic of this essay writing competition – “International Migration”. In fact, it seemed that the question of living in my country or migrating to another one had never left my mind. The dilemma it presented was deeply rooted in my being and the way I resolved it had everything to do with who I was and what beliefs and ideals I held dear.

    There was a time when I too could not imagine leaving my motherland for any other country. Regardless of how magnificent another country might appear to be, the idea of relocating to it simply had no power over me. Even when my peers fantasised about living abroad, I remained the guardian of my conviction that I was in the right place, the place that was meant for me. I, therefore, could not help but wonder as to when my stance changed and for what reasons. Was it that I had stopped loving my country? Was it that becoming aware of the myriad of problems around me brought me face to face with the actual condition of my country and displaced my imagined version of it? Or was I hollowed out of all aspirations so that all I wanted was a better life, which I thought I could easily get elsewhere? Why would I, a twenty-year-old who has never set foot in another country, not want to live in Kenya for the rest of my life? After all, I used to belt out Sauti Sol’s “Live and Die in Afrika”, telling myself and the world that I would live and die in my motherland.

    I gave myself time to look deep within myself to try and find the answers to my questions. I realised that no, I did not hate my country. I in fact loved my country and I was proud to be a Kenyan. What exactly was the issue then? Was it I that did not understand the meaning of loving my country and being proud of my nationality? If I was indeed proud to be a Kenyan, then why did I want to leave so badly? Why was the post “The goal is to leave Kenya and show fake patriotism by wearing the Kenyan flag wristband” always on my social media pages’ timeline? Why was the “American dream” my life dream?

    It gradually dawned on me that I, as most of my peers, had imperceptibly bought the idea that the grass was greener on the other side. We had come to believe that life was better anywhere else except for where we currently were. This is the thinking of a multitude of people looking for ways to leave their country, especially people from countries considered to be “Third World” who wish to transit to the “First World”. We had convinced ourselves that by moving to more developed countries we would get a better shot at succeeding in life and accomplishing our life goals. And we had come to a point where nothing else, apart from the greenness of the grass, mattered.

    I do acknowledge that the belief of a better life away from home may not be entirely a delusion. Many claims have been made to the effect that moving to a different country could be exactly what one needs to advance one’s career and expand one’s knowledge. Career advancement and expansion of knowledge preoccupy the minds of most young people and if they are shown the route to success in that direction they would pursue that route without a second thought. I too would not let go of the opportunity to advance to the next level of my career, and if that meant moving to another country then I would move in a heartbeat.

    However, I can now see that this thought process is truncated. To begin with, how sure are we that as foreigners we stand a chance against the multitude of youth already struggling in their motherlands because they themselves cannot access the opportunities that we hope to get by moving to these countries? Are we really going to get the better conditions we enthusiastically hoped for or are we going to be despised because the reluctant hosts see us as desperate and a nuisance? Are we not likely to face hostility from the native citizens and won’t we have to suffer the humiliation of hearing “Go back to your country!” every single day? It is not a secret that uninvited immigrants are never received with open arms anywhere.

    In as much as I wish I could avoid talking about, it is impossible to ignore the discrimination that people of colour face every day in foreign lands just for looking different. In the recent past the Black Lives Matters Movement gained attention all over the world, with millions of people coming out to condemn and protest against the mistreatment and annihilation of black people across the United States. If this was the fate of black people who were citizens of their country, how about those of us who have come from outside? We also witnessed discrimination against Asians during the Covid-19 pandemic as people from China in particular were blamed for the emergence and spread of the virus.

    By now you could be thinking, “Oh she is such a naysayer. Why can’t she just embrace the positive without bringing up the negative?” I also wish I could, but that would mean choosing not to see. I am not trying to put fears and limitations on anybody’s ambitions and goals but surely it is worth seeing the full picture before deciding to make a move.

    My second consideration is that, even if the grass was greener on the other side, it is not our grass. The truth is that we were not born to live on the sweat of others, that we cannot live with our dignity intact if we only benefit from what others have created. Is it not common sense that the grass is greener on the other side because someone is watering it? Does it not then follow that if you want it to be greener on your side you should water your side too? That got me thinking as to why we cannot strive to water our side instead of always being attracted by the lush green that is in someone else’s yard. It surely cannot be that hard to improve the living and working conditions of our people, can it? Those aspects of our reality that make us feel we live a wretched life and that make us pity ourselves have existed all over the world at one time or another. The difference is that, unlike us, all these other countries that we see as having “greener grass” have simply come up with better ways to address the problems they once struggled with. We too, then, can follow their example. All of us! Our government, too, must strive to find better ways of dealing with issues affecting the life of its people so as to make them want to stay. Otherwise, who is going to work towards growing our economy if everybody is gone?

    I, therefore, have come to doubt that it is necessary or desirable for us to move from our motherland. I now know that I do not want to leave my country. Why would I if I do not hate it? I love my country and I am proud to be a Kenyan. I have come to terms with the fact that loving my country does not mean thinking or saying Kenya is the best country in the world. It also means admitting that as a country we should do better and we ought to do better because we have the potential to do better. I also know that it is not that those who want to leave are less patriotic than those who want to stay and they should therefore not be patronised because at the end of the day we are all Kenyans. But when, ultimately, it comes down to making a choice I sincerely hope that we all choose to live and die in Kenya and not leave.

  • Reversing Emigration: Implications for Policy Makers

    By Peter Ondari Rosana

    Traditionally, international migration trends involved people migrating from countries with less advanced living standards to those which had prospects of a better quality of life. Most of us are familiar with this trend where emerging economies have been losing millions of their productive citizens to the developed world. However, some emerging economies are now investing in pull factors that can work towards overturning this trend, and hopefully slow down the urge by citizens to settle in other countries, or even entice those who have already migrated to return “home”. As a result, some destinations that were not very popular are now beginning to attract huge numbers of migrants. In this essay, I attempt to understand why this trend is gaining popularity in some parts of the world. I also draw some lessons for emerging economies like Kenya on how to slow down emigration of productive citizens through reverse emigration.

    As earlier noted, most international migration tends to be from countries with less favourable conditions to those with better living standards and relative peace. Currently, the most industrialised nations like the USA, France, Germany, the UK, and the United Arab Emirates are the leading destinations for such migrants. For instance, in 2016 alone, the USA recorded 1.8 million cases of legal immigrants. Reports show that over 80 per cent of the population of the United Arab Emirates comprises of legal immigrants who primarily provide the workforce for the industries in that country.

    On the other hand, countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Mexico, and China, are among the leading nations in the number of emigrants. What factors could be causing this trend, and how are they likely to evolve? We can only answer these questions by conducting a trend analysis of these factors and understanding the conditions in these countries. This knowledge will help us identify patterns and project what to expect over time. Based on current trends and mitigation strategies, the most likely result is a reversed order of migration, a situation called reverse international migration.

    There are several factors that cause international migration. These conditions help us understand why people are migrating the way they do and the likely changes in migration trends. The first one is the economic status of the countries of origin compared to the destination country. For instance, about 870,000 migrants moved into the USA from Mexico between 2013 and 2018. Most of them moved there to look for employment opportunities and better economic standards like markets for their goods. Secondly, people move to other nations in search of quality education. This is most prevalent among African nations from which people move to the UK, USA, and India because these destinations have some of the best higher learning institutions globally. The third factor is climate change. Countries like Bangladesh and Kiribati are among the most affected because of climatic effects like cyclones and rising sea levels. For example, about 1/7 of the population in Bangladesh is projected to have migrated from there by 2050. Afghanistan is also experiencing prolonged drought, making it one of the most uninhabitable nations in the Middle East. Lastly, some of the countries experiencing the highest levels of emigration are those experiencing political unrest and civil war. Countries like Burkina Faso, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, and Libya are among the most affected. The political turmoil in these regions has driven thousands of people out of those nations as they seek better living conditions for their families.

    Despite these prevailing circumstances, current and past trends show a possibility of reversing these operations. Governments are working tirelessly to make their nations more habitable. International bodies like the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) are also working towards resettling many displaced people back to their original countries. If the current measures are implemented efficiently, analysts project that by 2050 people will be migrating back to where they are moving from today. The conditions driving them out of their home countries will no longer exist. Alternatively, the increased population could reduce the pull factors in these destinations. For instance, if the population of industrialised nations increases significantly, there will be population pressure, and access to social amenities like healthcare facilities and jobs will be affected. Those living in those countries will likely have to move out in search of better conditions. This will, in turn, present further opportunities and challenges to both the sending and receiving countries.

    In many nations, governments are as well working to create more employment opportunities. For instance, the migration rate from Mexico to the USA will likely reduce significantly by 2025 under President Andres Manuel. In August 2022 alone, his administration created over 20,000 jobs in Mexico City. The quality and availability of compulsory education have also increased over the past few years, increasing the number of professional workers. Lastly, the government has a job creation scheme in the Caribbean that will ensure that over 80 per cent of the population lives above the poverty line. On the other hand, the USA is working to reduce illegal migration from its southern border and to deport illegal immigrants back to Mexico, reversing the migration trend forcefully.

    In education, Africa now has some of the best universities in the world. For example, the University of Johannesburg was founded in 2005 but is currently ranked among the top 500 universities in the world. Other institutions like the University of Cape Town and the University of Witwatersrand also rank highly on the global scale. In Kenya, Egerton University is now attracting global attention and has several international students from the rest of Africa and Asia. The University has also formed partnerships with other universities like the University of Ohio, and students can come to Egerton or go to Ohio to study. The need for quality higher education is now met locally, and countries like Kenya, from which people moved for further studies, could become major destinations for international students.

    Thirdly, several bilateral and multilateral environmental agreements and organisations have been established to curb climate change. For example, the United Nations, founded after the Second World War, took up the responsibility to devise ways of managing the environment. They have developed sustainable development goals to reduce global warming to at most a rise of 2 degrees Celsius within the next 100 years. In Bangladesh, the government is offering adaptive services to over 40,000 families to cope with climate change. They have also set up 224 new cyclone shelters. Kiribati is equally doing an excellent job by building dykes, traditional sea walls, and planting mangrove forests to alleviate the displacement rate by sea level rise. Finally, water-rich river basins in Afghanistan are being diverted to fill drier ones and get water for irrigation. The government is also investing heavily in drought-resistant crops and research to boost the nation’s food security. Over time, these places vulnerable to climate change will become more habitable, attracting people to migrate and live there.

    Lastly, the intensity and cases of war in most parts of the world are now reducing. Once a haven for terrorists, Somalia now has Dowladda Soomaaliya– the government of Somalia. With governance in place, terrorism and insecurity are bound to reduce. Former USA President Barrack Obama also withdrew all combat activity from Afghanistan and instead started offering support to the locals and their defence forces. In Myanmar, it is projected that military rule in the nation will soon end, and they will form a central government. With working rules in place, developers and investors will migrate there and get citizenship, reversing the migration trend. In addition, organisations like the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force are also working to restore global peace. Once countries like Libya regain political stability, their economic development will be rapid since they have resources like natural gas. Consequently, people will scramble to settle in the country instead of relocating from there.

    This reverse migration trend will have some implications for policymakers in both the sending and receiving countries. First, the sending countries are likely to face labour shortages as their workforce migrates to other countries. There is also the possibility of experiencing brain drain if skilled citizens opt to settle elsewhere. On the receiving end, there may be technology transfer, a need for new immigration policies, and reduced diaspora remittances. While the emigrants may also move out with some skills, these abilities may not be applicable or recognised in their new residence, making it hard for them to settle and adapt. As this trend starts to set in, policy makers from both nations need to assess the impact of the phenomena, form partnerships, and device ways of dealing with any challenges that may come with the shift.

    In conclusion, no one may like to live in hostile conditions. For this reason, governments are working to ensure such circumstances are alleviated. They are bound to succeed. This will reduce the rate of migrating out of such places. Eventually, people will start moving back to those locations; a situation called reverse international migration. Whether in a few or many years, reverse international migration is inevitable.

  • On Wednesday, 24 March 2021, Egerton University commenced the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, first targeting staff members from the Medical Department and the Faculty of Health Sciences.

  • Covid 19 prevention is a community effort, Egerton University staff are also taking measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Egerton University’s Faculty of Health Sciences, on 23 April 2021, enrolled with the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).

  • The Destiny of the ‘Third World’ Is in Our Hands

    By Erastus Wambiakale Otieno

    The issue of emigration from ‘Third World’ countries in search of livelihood opportunities in countries that are deemed to be better economically endowed has generated quite some debates. On the one hand, human beings will always move in search of livelihood opportunities so such migration may be deemed as normal. On the other hand, such migration can pose a serious threat to Third World development because of the opportunity cost in terms of the potential loss of human capital that such countries do not always have plenty of. However, some of the migrations have been more about the desire to experience what other parts of the world have to offer based on the imagination that the local is probably inferior. The expression “the sun always shines more brightly in the neighbour’s yard” comes to mind. Unfortunately, this is an attitude that many people in the developing world have embraced. A substantial number of Third World citizens often think that their grim material conditions can be cured through emigration to other parts of the world that they consider to be boundlessly endowed.

    Occasionally, I have wondered what would happen if all the emigrants fleeing one problem or the other back at home for a good life in other countries were bold enough to choose to stay and fight to change the circumstances that push them out. That would immensely benefit the Third World source countries because their skills, both hard and soft, their talents, and their wealth would remain in the home countries where they are sorely needed. They would be a very valuable resource, which would greatly enhance the economies of the source countries. Emigrants do not necessarily like the lives they live away in foreign lands. If they had the option they obviously would want to stay at home, yet the reality demands that they emigrate so that they can take care of the needs of their loved ones and the extended families back at home. But the question that emerges is: do these emigrants ever give a thought to the irony in the fact that their emigration plans often result in them contributing to some of the issues they are trying to escape from like poor management, which they cannot address when they are away? After all, the majority of the nations to which they relocate have faced similar problems in the past but the citizens chose to confront the issues head on instead of fleeing to other countries which could have offered them opportunity for a better life and escape from the chaos of home.

    For instance, in response to social and economic inequality, food shortages, poor governance, and unfair taxation policies that were prevalent in their country in the late 18th century, the French people did not flee from their issues, instead, they confronted them head on in what culminated into what we now know as the French Revolution. The revolution had far reaching consequences that are still evident to date in the French political, social and economic sphere. Similar corrective upheavals have been experienced in other parts of the world, some more comparative to the success of the French Revolution than others. Similar issues exist in many Third World nations and they call for a similar bold response with a view to correcting the anomalies. Perhaps the French Revolution offers a lesson for the total overhaul of the Third World economies that need to be emulated in order to stem the migrations that are increasing alarmingly.

    There are those who highlight what they see as the advantages of emigration because those who go out to look for work send back money in the form of remittances. They argue that such money sent by emigrants can help to improve the economies of their families as well as the source country generally. Whereas it is true that some countries have come to rely significantly on remittances from such emigrants for foreign currency that advantage does not compare with the benefits that the host country derives from the migrant workers. To start with, emigration often brings benefits to the host country in terms of workers with rare skills and technological advancement which often prop up the economies of the host countries. Often, such skills are also passed on to the workforce of the host countries through apprenticeship. Therefore, the benefit in terms of skills that the host countries derive from migrant workers cannot compare to the benefits of the source countries in terms of remittances. If anything, the source countries are the net losers because they often lose highly skilled manpower, which amounts to loss of productivity, which undermines the economic future of the country.

    Africa has a lot of potential when it comes to skilled and unskilled labourers. Unfortunately, we do not fully capitalize on that potential. Several reasons have led to this, but the main reason is that manpower has been flowing from these countries to developed countries for years. Doctors, engineers, teachers, lawyers, and other professionals go abroad to find jobs. How then will the Third World economies such as Africa’s grow if professionals leave to take up jobs abroad? We can only achieve transformation if these people stop emigrating and try to create back home opportunities similar to those that lure them abroad. A simple strategy, therefore, would be to discourage emigration from the Third World by offering the professionals incentives to stay. Perhaps all citizens should see it as their duty to pressurize the respective governments to take appropriate steps to meet the need for the citizenry to live a decent life instead of leaving the problems unresolved so that emigration becomes the easier option.

    About three years ago, when African Americans protested the murder of George Floyd and to stop police killings of black people, African migrants stood with them. I was captivated by the wailing and lamentation by a woman in a very familiar Kenyan Luo Nyanza accent. Her fervour during the protests was unmistakable, it was deeply felt, especially in the way she disrupted traffic while pushing for justice for George Floyd. Unfortunately, she was using all that energy to push for justice in her host country and make it better at the expense of her home country, which needed such protests even more to demand for justice, social change and development. I could not stop reflecting on the magnitude of the social change that the kind of energies she invested in the George Floyd protests in USA could bring about if she invested them in Kenya.

     It is apparent that emigration has a direct negative impact on the countries left behind, but in the long run it will adversely affect the receiving countries in terms of the potential of social instability because of discomfort with the migrant workers due to the consciousness of their outsiderness.  Therefore, even as the source countries ought to do everything to minimize departures, the receiving nations have everything to gain by minimizing immigration of Third World citizens to their countries as a way of maintaining social order. Such a step would benefit the receiving countries’ economies by preventing overpopulation, which would put a strain on social services leading to unrest such as happens often in South Africa. One way of doing this is to make demands on the source countries to strengthen their economies and social services in order to encourage the citizens to stay at home.

    It is in same vein I think USA should re-examine its Diversity Immigration Visa Programme which has the potential of escalating emigration especially given the attraction that USA is for potential Third World emigrants for whom USA represents the solution to their problems. As it is, the visa programme has already caused substantial brain drain from the Third World through loss of talented skilled workforce and academic personnel trained for several years in the source countries. The programme lures and makes them lose motivation and desire to work in their home countries. Additionally, through the United Nations Charter, developed countries should assist Third World countries to find a long-term solution to the push factors of emigration. It is not lost to me that eliminating emigration completely is a tall order but minimizing it to the lowest rate can make a big difference for such Third World countries with high emigration rates Such as South Sudan. Certainly, addressing both the push and pull factors like the Diversity Immigration Programme will stabilize Third World countries and help them to develop by refocusing their minds and energies.

  • A good number of years ago, in 1973, I received agood number of years ago, in 1973, I received abursary from the Aga Khan Department ofEducation (Tanzania) to study Dairy Technologyat Egerton College, as it was then known. I recall trackingfrom Moshi to Nakuru with Naushad Jan Mohamed, who hadalso received a bursary to studyAgricultural Engineering and would thusbe my college mate. Upon reachingNakuru we looked for Mr. Alibhai Gilani.We had a confidence-building letter ofintroduction to him from his contact inMoshi. Mr. Gilani arranged to have hisson take us to the college. I rememberbeing dropped off just outside theKennedy Hall, which would become ourmeal centre for the next three years.Everybody called it the Mess. We donneda gown every time we went to it fordinner. The greenery of Njoro with itscrisp evening chill and fresh air wasinstantly welcoming.
    I had heard numerous stories ofEgerton College: of how it had begun asan agricultural school for children ofcolonial farmers; how, in 1961, thecollege had opened its doors to studentsof colour; and how elitist it had been inthe colonial-era treatment of its students.Every evening the students left theirshoes outside their room to have thempolished for next morning and droppedtheir dirty clothes in a bag to have themwashed and ironed. None of theseprivileges existed in 1973. However, thepristine environment and pride in upkeepwere evident.Mr. Shiraz Shariff (left), Vice-President of the Egerton Students Union, together with the Union’s President, Mr. U.A. Salau (centre), and Treasurer Moez Fazal, during the 1974–1975 academic year (Both photos in the story courtesy of Mr. Shariff) I was assigned a cornerroom at Old Hall and marvelled at theflowers and green shrubs growing outsidemy window. The magical atmosphere inspired me to write a few poems.inspired me to write a few poems.
    By 1973 the College had built a reputation for itselfthroughout Africa, and there were students from all over thecontinent in its various programmes. I came across andinteracted with students from Nigeria, Botswana, andTanzania, all of whom were in the Dairy Technology programme with me. The Guildford Institute of Dairyprogramme with me. The Guildford Institute of DairyTechnology was established with funds from overseasdonors. We even had professors from Denmark (Mr. Hanson)and India (Mr. Bhanumurti) on the faculty along withKenyans such as Dr. Peter Shalo, who was the Chairman ofthe Department of Dairy Technology.
    By 1974 I had become quite involved with studentadvocacy and successfully ran for the position of Vice-President of the Egerton Students Union (ESU). Mr. U. A.Salau of Nigeria was elected as President, and Mr. MoezFazal of Tanzania was elected as Treasurer. We put in a lot ofeffort to develop the Junior Common Room (JCR), arecreational centre for students and a party place with alounge for entertainment. ESU made profits from the JCR canteen, and the money was used for celebrating year-endcanteen, and the money was used for celebrating year-endevents and Christmas parties. It was at such functions that thestudents were able to socialise and make friends.
    Upon graduation in 1976 with a Diploma in DairyTechnology, I made applications to the agricultural faculties ofthe University of Strathclyde in Scotland, the University ofIowa in the USA, and the University of Guelph in Canada. Itfelt great to be admitted to all three universities. This successwas a confirmation of the recognition Egerton College hadachieved on the international academic stage. I accepted theUniversity of Guelph because of the scholarship I was offered.However, I ended up doing my undergraduate and graduatestudies in Social Work at the University of Calgary.
    Calgary is a city at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains inAlberta, Canada, which is home to my family. In 1995 I ran in aby-election for public office as Member of the LegislativeAssembly (MLA) for the Government of Alberta and served forfour successful terms from 1995 to 2008. At the beginning ofeach term the MLAs elected from among themselves threePresiding Officers – the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker, and theDeputy Chair of Committees. For two of my terms I was alsoelected by my peers as Deputy Chair of Committees. It did nottake me long to realise that the skills I had built as Vice-President of ESU had prepared me well for the leadership role Iassumed in Alberta.
    During my days as an MLA I worked on projects of GoodGovernance in various parts of the world, and especially inSouth Africa, which had just dismantled the apartheidestablishment. Alberta had twinned with the Province ofMpumalanga, formerly Central Transvaal of South Africa, andI worked on building capacity in the senior bureaucracy of thatprovince. We had identified ten departments to which weprovided mentors and training at the University of Alberta.President Thabo Mbeki acknowledged to me the positiveimpact our mentorship programme was having on the newcadre in the Mpumalanga government.
    When in August of 2019, after 46 years for me and 58 yearsfor the first interracial class, some of us alumni had a reunion atNjoro, I was deeply moved to re-live the memories of myyouth, all of which were invigorating and a source of pride. TheUniversity was a most generous host. We are grateful to it as wealso pay tribute to the memory of Dr. William Odongo Omamo,the first African Principal of the College which has given to theworld thousands of agricultural practitioners.
  • The Council and Senate of Egerton University request the honour of your company to the 43rd Graduation Ceremony (Virtual) for the conferment of Degrees and award of Diplomas and Certificates by The Chancellor, Dr. Narendra Raval (Guru), D.Sc.(hc) EBS on Friday, 18 June 2021. Join the Ceremony live from 9.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
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