On October, the 27th 2016, A meeting between representatives from the UK and Africa in the field of Science and Education took place at the St Francis Crick Institute. The event was attended by top researchers from Africa and the United Kingdom and was aimed at exploring how the UK can work more strategically with Africa’s Researchers, institutions and Governments in order that their knowledge, innovation and capacity is developed.
The Kenya High Commission’s Education Counsellor Mrs. Margaret Lesuuda attended and stressed the need for equal Research partnerships between the Western world and developing countries.
The UK has strong collaboration with Africa’s research and higher education institutions. The aim of the meeting was to explore how the UK can work more strategically with Africa’s researchers, institutions, and governments so that their knowledge systems deliver skilled people, strong growth and innovation.
The meeting was moderated by Ms. Patricia Amira a seasoned and versatile Kenyan communication specialist.
Kenyan researcher who had attended and participated in panel discussions included but not limited to;
- Mr. Tirop Kosgey , the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of National Research Fund, Kenya,
- Dr. Tom Kariuki, Director of the Alliance Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa ( AESA),
- Mr. Reuben O Marwanga Chairman Of The Kenya National Innovation Agency,
- Prof.James Patrick Ochieng- Odero Team Leader of the East Africa Research Fund ( EARF),
- Dr. George Ombakho Director of Research Management and Development Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
- Dr. Samson Kinyanjui-Head of training at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Programme(so far this programme has graduated 25 PhDs and 35 others expected to graduate in the next 3 yrs)
- Prof. Faith Osier- Visiting Prof of Malaria Immunology at Oxford University and Group leader at KEMRI-Wellcome Trust (K)
In his panel discussion, Mr. Tirop Kosgey stated that the government had put in various reforms among them the establishment of the National Research Fund. He stressed the need for Partnership in Research from Africa and the developed world.
Dr Kariuki appreciated DFIDs mandate to allocated over Funding for research and capacity building through the Academy of Science who HQ is in Nairobi.
The Governments of the UK and Kenya have strengthened their collaborative partnership in research and innovation and launched the Newton-Utafiti Fund as part of the wider Newton Fund family.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries was signed at the Ministry of Higher Education in Nairobi in July between Dr Fred Matiang’i, the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Education, and Nic Hailey, British High Commissioner to Kenya.
With a bid to build the capacity of the academic research portfolio in Kenya various strategies are being sort by the Ministry of Education. Currently, an initiative of the Kenya High Commission to seek collaboration with the University of Cambridge to help build on Kenya’s PhDs numbers is in progress where the Ministry of Education has drawn five universities and two research institutes to participate.