A Memorable Day at Garissa University
KIPPRA rolled out its Mentorship Programme for Universities (KMPUs) at Garissa University on 13th February 2019. The whole-day event was characterized by enlightening speeches and presentations; engaging discussions and debates; question and answer sessions; and entertaining traditional and modern dances by the students.
Garissa University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Osman Warfa appreciated KIPPRA for agreeing to collaborate and for taking the initiative to form a new partnership with the university. He added that the partnership would bridge the gap between academia and industry practices.
On the Big Four Agenda, Prof. Warfa emphasized the need for Kenya to harness available resources to achieve food security.
KIPPRA Executive Director Dr Rose Ngugi also appreciated Garissa University for warmly welcoming the KIPPRA team and for agreeing to work together. Dr Ngugi explained the Institute’s role in the country’s development, noting that KIPPRA was the only government think tank mandated to promote evidence-based public policy making. Dr Ngugi added that research is core in ensuring that policies focus on critical development plans and that KMPUs provides a platform to encourage students to engage in policy issues.
While delivering the Planning PS Prof. Julius Muia’s speech, KIPPRA Board Chair Dr Linda Musumba pointed out the need for researchers and policymakers to continuously engage to come up with timely and relevant evidence to guide policy. She added that despite only recently being chartered, Garissa University has the potential to emerge as a leader in both research expenditure and policy-related research.
Also leading the KIPPRA team was Board Vice Chair Mr Koitamet Ole Kina, who said the KMPUs initiative provided an opportunity to revamp intellectual dialogue with the academic society and enable research to focus on the development agenda.
To enlighten the students on the country’s development agenda was Ms Veronicah Okoth, the Director of the Economic Pillar at the Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat. Ms Okoth used charts and pictures to illustrate the tremendous progress the Government had made in infrastructure, energy and other sectors of the economy.
Other speakers during the event included Mr Morris Ondiek from the Youth Enterprise Development, who highlighted the financial and other opportunities the Government provides to enable the youth to engage in business. Ms Linda Onyango from the SME Support Centre enumerated the many business opportunities students could engage in but was quick to emphasize the importance of conducting research before setting up any business.
KIPPRA policy analysts Dr Nancy Nafula and Mr Eluid Moyi also made short presentations on the Big Four Agenda and the public policy making process respectively.
One of the most interesting sessions was the panel discussions by the students, which demonstrated the young scholars’ impressive understanding of the Big Four Agenda. The students explained each of the agenda items in detail, giving suggestions on what the Government could do to ensure their timely achievement.
The event was also marked by an MoU signing session by Dr Ngugi and Prof. Warfa, cementing the collaboration between the two institutions. Students who participated in the panel discussions and essay-writing were awarded certificates.