Nairobi — University of Nairobi (UON) is among 10 African universities which have signed a partnership with Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) to sponsor 10,000 PhD students across Africa.
Speaking during the signing ceremony at International Centre for Insects physiology and ecology, RSIF manager Moses Osiru said those who will qualify for sponsorship will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics(STEM) adding that it is an area that is critical for the country's economic growth.
"This is a partnership of African governments who have recognized the importance of science and technology for development. Together they have agreed to fund 10,000 PHDs students who will be focusing on STEM and directly contribute to scientific institutions in order to ensure African economies are competitive," Osiru said.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs (DVC) from UoN Julius Ogengo said he is happy for the university to have been chosen as the only Kenyan University and promised students who will be enrolled at the institution of quality PHDs.
"We are going to be training between 10 to 15 students at PhD level and our Physics department has about 70 members of staff and majority of them are PHD holders. The entire University is well endowed with PhD holders. So, we are very well placed to train these students and I am sure you are aware that University of Nairobi produces the highest number of PhD students ever year," Ogengo said.
In a statement, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha who is also the Chairman of Partnership for Skills In Applied Sciences Engineering and Technology (PASET) governing council said the government will continue supporting such initiatives as it recognizes the importance of being globally competitive.
"We know that the only road to strengthen our economy is to make use of science and technology and as a prerequisite to put in place the human capital that is needed to do this. PASET for Kenya also means it will bolster our science, technology and innovation capacity that would help us to respond to local and emerging challenges for the future and contribute to the Big Four Agenda of our President His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta," Magoha stated.