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Briquettes project wins Kenyan varsity innovation trophy

By Fredrick Oginga | June 20th 2019

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) has won the 17th Enactus Kenya National Exposition.

The team trounced more than 13 other universities to carry the innovation trophy home.

The institution presented a project named Project Hyatech focusing on production of briquettes for sale and production of gas from water hyacinth.

In the final round of the competition, the project had engaged more than 250 people with disability to make the two products and ensure their distribution.

The competition requires student members to develop projects to address challenges facing communities and, thereafter, face over 30 judges drawn from a pool of business leaders from more than 34 companies.

Enactus Kenya board chair Kinyua M’Mbijjewe said the project puts emphasis on education, agribusiness, housing, energy, waste management, mining and voter management.

“Each team presents entrepreneurial projects that are not making a difference in the world, have the momentum to create new careers, spark business innovation and deliver fresh energy for social impact,” he said. 

He added that that the competition, themed ‘Tech and Smart Solutions for Challenges Facing Kenya’, encourages universities to embrace the integration of machine and internet.

Moi University’s main campus team emerged the first runners-up, with their project, which focused on waste management. Moi University West Campus’s mushroom project took the third position.

In his speech at the award ceremony on Monday, the United States ambassador to Kenya Kyle MacCarter emphasised the need to tap into Kenya’s youthful population.

“Youth are Kenya’s ultimate capital. They should be empowered to drive the country’s development and make it attractive as an investment destination,” he said.

M’Mbijjewe said that Enactus Kenya has facilitated skills development for more than 4,500 undergraduate students through experiential learning in community development projects, training and annual national and international competitions for the last 16 years. It operates in 34 colleges and universities and engages more than 2,500 students through the competition, 

JOOUST will now go head-to-head with 36 teams selected as national winners from their countries when they represent Kenya at the three-day Enactus World Cup set to take place at the Silicon Valley in California, US, on September 16.

Last year, Canada took home the World Cup trophy after beating Egypt, India and Morocco.

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