By Augustine Oduor
The Government will establish centres of excellence in public universities to spur economic growth. Higher Education, Science and Technology Minister Margaret Kamar said all universities will be recognised based on their products.
She said each institution will be required to focus on emerging sectors of the economy in establishing their centres. Prof Kamar said each university will be required to re-engineer their training to match to the country’s development and Vision 2030 goals.
The minister was speaking at the Co-operative College of Kenya during its inauguration to a university college. The institution has been a premier college of higher learning in co-operative education and Training. She said the constituent college of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology will initiate and drive research and consultancy programmes in the field of co-operatives.
“This will promote economic growth and also create jobs for the youth,” she said. The minister said universities have been used to producing experts, but failed to link them to national development needs. But Kamar said the ministry was keen on reversing the trend in a radical shift to boost economic growth.
In an earlier interview, the minister said the discovery of oil in Turkana County has encouraged the ministry to establish a centre of excellence in petroleum within the chemical engineering programme of the Moi University. “When Vision 2030 was developed we had not discovered oil. But now we have it. This means that we must factor this in our activities and programmess,” she said.
“The mineral sector is growing rapidly and the minister of environment has already warned us that we need adequate human resource capacity for the sector. We must move fast as well,” she said.