I am delighted to have this chance to share, together with my team, a number of activities that have been taking place over the past at CESAAM. The centre has made a number of strides that will go a long way to help it meet its purpose which is to ensure sustainability in agriculture and agribusiness management. Core in CESAAM’s overall objective is to build capacity in agricultural value chains of African countries; including those that are fragile and post-conflict. The centre also has keen interest on promoting gender balance in agriculture where its target is to have at least 40% female fellows at the centre. During the launch of ACE-II in Nairobi Kenya, CESAAM students and the university management made positive representations and further convincing remarks from our students who made part of the youth panel during 4th PASET Forum.
The centre has since received its first batch of funding from the World Bank and proper procurement and accounting procedures are in place to help meet the laid down conditions for further engagement. CESAAM has signed 2 important MOUs, mostly whose details are included in this brief summary. Student selection has been done in a clear and transparent manner where a total of 25 (MSc) and 19 (PhD) fellows were successful. Of this number, a total of 923 applications were received. Of this number, an average of 22% (both MSc and PhD) of the selected applicants were female for both the region and Kenyan. 26% of the selected applicants were from the region; with the remaining percentage being Kenyans. Egerton University is ready to receive the students whose admission date is set for 21st August, 2017. Modern accommodation facilities are all set to host the students.
CESAAM has since signed 2 important MOUs with Nanjing University in China and another with Virginia Tech University in USA. The need for active collaboration came out quite strongly during these engagements and Egerton University staff and students look forward to benefiting from these partnerships. Highlights for these engagements include infrastructural development, capacity building of students and staff, retooling workshops, exchange programs, joint supervision, equipping labs, joint teaching of short courses among others. These activities on partnerships were followed closely by an Inception Workshop which was well attended by CESAAM partners, Egerton University management, staff and student representatives.
The centre’s core-team and administrative assistants have all played a key role in ensuring smooth operations at the centre and I thank them. I also offer gratitude to the World Bank Group and their ever supportive team. I offer gratitude also to the IUCEA team and Egerton University fraternity even as this project continues.