Ranking of the nominees and title

UON@50 : Outstanding Achiever Narrative

College of Agriculture & Veterinary Sciences

1. Prof. Wangari Maathai  (Posthumous)

(RANK 1): Pioneer environmental conservationist

-Awarded the 2004 Noble Peace Prize becoming the first African Woman Nobel Peace Laureate.

-Founder Distinguished Chair of Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, an institute established in her honour.

-Listed in UNEP’s Global 500 Hall of Fame as one of the 100 heroines of the world.

-Elected by Earth Times as one of 100 persons in the world making a difference in the environmental arena.

-Honoured by Times Magazine as one of 100 most influential people in the world.

-Named by Forbes Magazine as of 100 most powerful women in the world

2. Prof. Stephen G. Kiama (in service)(RANK 2): Outstanding service in resource mobilization for research and infrastructure for teaching and learning


- Conceptualized, designed, and developed the globally unique Wangari Maathai (WMI) Global Institute  and became the founding Director of the Institute.

-Served as Chairman of deans and prnicipals of Regional Universities Forum for capacity building in Agriculture(RUFORUM) a consotium of 114 Universities. During his chairmanship  of the consortuim , the committee mobilsed resources and partners to hold the 6th African Universities Forum/RUFORUM biannual conference in Nairobi in 2018.

-Establshed linkages and Collaboration with various organizations including  DDAD, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation,Swiss Development Cooperation, RAIN-ASERECA, Global Livestock CRSP, Carnergie Foundation, US state Department etc   that have seen him raise cummulative ksh. 1,018 billion to support research , Young Scholars and Infrastructure development.

-Provided strategic leadership in the development of Royal Satima Water Plant which has contributed to internal cost saving and revenue enhancement .through sales of  internally bottled water.

-Visionary leaership that enabled the University  to transition  its operations to virtual platforms during Covid-19 pandemic.


3. Prof. Agnes W. Mwang’ombe (in service) (RANK 3): Exemplary fund raising and research infrastructure development



-Fund raising for building of SEMIs Training and Seed Processing Facility which is used for local and international training.

-Recognised and awarded the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS).

-Awarded the IMPRESSA excellence in capacity building in CAVS.

4. Prof. Paul M. Kimani (in service) (RANK 4): Leadership in breeding of new beans varieties




-Credited with the development of Kenya’s first climbing bean varieties, which were formally released and gazetted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries.

-His pioneering work resulted in the first locally developed high yielding disease resistant onion cultivars, which were formally released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Development and Fisheries in 1994.

-In 2008 was decorated and awarded the Elder of the Burning Spear (EBS) for his contribution to agricultural research and science in Kenya.

-NACOSTI’s award for best oral paper presentation during the 2015 National Science week.

- Recognized as the best research scientist in the Faculty of Agriculture in 2007

- Commercialization of beans varieties in collaboration with Kenya Seed Company.

5. Prof. Christopher N. Karue (Retired)(RANK 5): Exemplary fund raising and research infrastructure development



-Instrumental in lobbying the Government to allocate12,000 acres to Kibwezi University Dryland field Station, which is now open for teaching for all disciplines.

-Instrumental in lobbying the Government to renew the 5th World Bank Education Development Loan Phase 5, leading to construction of the first postgraduate hall in Kabete, CAVS and 12 residential staff houses in Loresho.

College of Architecture & Engineering

1. Prof. Francis Gichaga (in service) (RANK 1): The Pioneer of Academic Curriculum Model (Module II)



  • Led the team that developed the Kenyan Car and presented two saloon cars and pick-up prototypes in 1990.
  • Inspiring leadership, creativity, and for pioneering the micro-economic model (Module II) for financing university education in Kenya.
  • Honoured with Doctor of Science honoris causa by Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
  • Decorated with the following awards among others:
    • Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear, (EBS) (1986)
    • Dr. Kaburu Memorial Award by the Institution of Engineering's of Kenya (1990)
    • Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear, (MBS) (1990)
    • The Highest Award of Honour by SOKA University, Japan (1992).


2. Prof. Chrispus M. Kiamba (in service) (RANK 2): Outstanding Promoter of Good Governance in University Education



  • Founding Permanent Secretary of the newly established Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Member of Kenya’s National Economic and Social Council (NESC) (an advisory organ to the President), with one of its flagship results being the development of the Kenya Vision 2030 of which he was a Member of the Implementation Board.
  • Founding member of the following:
    •  U.K.-based Board of Management of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Fund (CSFF)
    • Board of Management of the University Science, Humanities and Engineering Partnership in Africa (USHEPIA)(2002-2006) (UoN member of the Partnership).
    • Board of Trusties of the Forum for Agriculture in East Africa (RUFORUM)(2003-2006) (UoN member of the Forum).
    • Management Board of UNESCO-affiliated International Sci-ence, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC)(2006-2014).
    • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan CSFP) Endowment Fund (2008-2013).
    • Consultative Advisory Group (CAG) of the World Bank-affiliated Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET)
    • Academy of Engineering and Technology of the Developing World (AETDEW)
  • Decorated with the following awards among others:
    • The Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear (CBS), 2007.
    • The Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS), 1995.

3 Prof. Michael Gatari (in service) (RANK 3): Outstanding Contributor to Scholarship through International Linkages



  • Transformed UoN administration from Typewriters to Personal Computers (PCs)
  • Saved the Kenya Universities’ World bank Project (under Prof. Wandiga) by producing printable procurement documents
  • Promoted continuous funding support from International Science Programme (ISP) at Uppsala University in Sweden
  • Established a North-South and South-South research network that created University of Nairobi (UoN) students’ opportunities in the North (two Postdocs, Six (6) PhD and four (4) MSc) and in the South three (3) PhDs
  • Pioneered peer reviewed journal papers on air pollution (atmospheric aerosol) in Kenya. Thus, positioning INST and UoN as a Centre of Excellence on air pollution studies, which resulted in attracting many international researchers of repute to search for research collaborators in UoN.
  • Promoted the image of UoN at International Atomic Energy Agency through supporting and directing over ten (10) regional training courses and managing Nuclear instrumentation.
  • Contributed four( 4)patents, two of which further development to commercial level will bring income to the university and participating students.9.Nurtured the off-grid product testing laboratory under a World bank project to a globally recognized laboratory of Competency and the only one in Africa

4. Prof. George Odera Rading (in service): (RANK 4)

Outstanding Scholar in Research collaboration and resource mobilization

Raised over KES 63 Million in research funds, used for higher degree training, and for purchase of laboratory equipment thus improving the relevance of our training.

Encouraged the collaboration between the UoN and several local industries like Sony Sugar, East African Portland Cement Co., Kenya Power and Lighting, and Isuzu (EA).

Collaborates with local and international universities like Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology, Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, University of Witwatersrand, and University of Southampton amongst others.

Fellow of the Kenya National Academy of Science.

College of Biological & Physical Sciences

1. Prof. Shem O. Wandiga (retired) (RANK 1): Distinguished leadership in policy on university governance and founder of the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation



Provided exemplary leadership in the interpretation of university policies during his service as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (A&F).

Founder of Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation. Special recognition for establishment of Climate Change Adaptation Support Programme for Action Research and Capacity Development in Africa (CCAA) (2006-2008). 



2. Prof. Eric O. Odada (in service) (RANK 2): Distinguished service to the African Scientific Community on Global Environmental Change Research and Capacity Building

- Established the International Decade for the East African Lakes (IDEAL)

–Created a research consortium of African, European and North American scientists to investigate African Great Lakes as archives of climatic and environmental dynamics. 

3. Prof. Richard Mibey (in service) (RANK 3): exemplary service in promotion of access to university education


Holder of industrial patent and an astute innovator, entrepreneur and astute administrator. Special recognition for massive expansion of education in Kenya giving access to university education. Presided over founding of 15 of the 33 University Colleges in Kenya

Recognized as a world authority on fungal systematics (Ascomycetes) and its applications. World Authority on Fungal Taxonomy and Biodiversity Conservation. Details to be provided by Principal, CBPS


4. Prof. John O. Kokwaro (posthumous) (RANK 4): Exemplary taxonomist responsible for establishment of the University of Nairobi Herbarium









-First holder of Doctor of Science (DSc.) of the University of Nairobi

-Exemplary performance as teacher, scholar and author and Expanded the University of Nairobi Herbarium.   Details to be provided by Principal, CBPS

5. Prof. Thomas Odhiambo (Posthumous) (RANK 5):   Visionary leader in scientific institutional development in Insect Science in Africa



Thomas was a special man on a mission to improve Africa’s food sustainability and the wellbeing of its people. He is one of our most deserving laureates . Odhiambo helped to establish three institutes of higher education - the Third World Academy of Sciences in Trieste, Italy, in 1983; The Kenya National Academy of Sciences in Nairobi in 1983; and the African Academy of Sciences, also in Nairobi, in 1985. In 1970, He set up the departments of entomology and agriculture at the University of Nairobi, Founded International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi.  Entomologist harnessing science for Africa's poor He founded a children's science publishing house in Kenya, a secondary school near Mombasa, and wrote six books for children.  Details to be provided by Principal, CBPS




College of Education & External Studies

1. Prof. Gerald Kimani
(in service) (RANK 1): Transformative leader in teacher education. 

Prof. Gerald Kimani: For exemplary academic leadership that has yielded transformative milestones in the College.


Ten years after the transfer of the Faculty of Education to Kenyatta University College, Prof. Kimani fought for the reestablishment of the faculty within the College of Adult and Distance Education.  The College was then restructured and renamed College of Education and External Studies.  During his tenure as Dean, he championed staff development and training for the Faculty, and enhanced and strengthened both undergraduate and postgraduate enrollment.  He was also instrumental in the development of physical infrastructure including construction School of Education Complex, CEES Library and student hostels.



2 Prof. Patrick O.O. Digolo (in service) (RANK 2): A pioneer in Pedagogical training and institutional mentorship


Prof. Patrick O. O. Digolo: Notable contribution is championing the establishment of the Centre for Pedagogy and Andragogy, which has recently teamed up with the Pedagogical Leadership in Africa (PEDAL) group to expand its activities in the region.  The Centre has attracted trainers from several African countries, the USA and other Universities within Kenya.

The interaction between our staff and those from other universities makes the University of Nairobi a strong mentor in the region.  It also strengthens the Centre’s strategic objective of enhancing the visibility and impact of our University.  So far, the Centre has trained 1000 lecturers from the University.

3 Prof. Lucy Kibera (in service) (RANK 3): An outstanding educationist and staff mentor



Prof. Lucy W. Kibera: Is being recognized for championing the introduction of digital technology in the management of student records and teaching and learning in the School of Education.

Prof. Kibera has also contributed to revitalizing programme delivery and curriculum instruction in the College.

Prof. Kibera has been a key research mentor of both students and staff, and a strategic plan developer and consultant for many institutions in Kenya.


4 Prof. Hellen Inyega (in service) (RANK 4): outstanding resource mobilizer and champion of curriculum innovation



Prof. Hellen Inyega: Is being recognized for her efforts in developing early years instruction curriculum in schools.  Her focus is on curriculum design and development, capacity building and performance management, project design and implementation.

Her fund-raising campaigns and international collaborations have been very successful and have benefited the College in terms of acquisition of digital equipment (USAID Grant), capacity building (In-service teacher training), and collaborative research with other Universities e.g. The Tusome Project with Makerere and Purdue University), as well as contribution to the new Competence Based Curriculum and our Early Childhood Education Programmes.

The digital equipment acquired through USAID grant (150 Laptops, 217 Tablets, 4 Projectors, 10 Cam Coders, 10 Scanners and Digital Cameras) has been very useful to the College for curriculum innovation and current pedagogical training.  This is in addition to the funds obtained for research and development, as well as support to the Kenya Science Nursery School learners.


College of Health Sciences

1. Prof Julia A. Ojiambo (Retired) (RANK 1): Distinguished and Transformative Academic Leader to the University and the Nation




- 1st PhD, in the CHS Department of Community Health

- 1st black African Woman to be appointed Lecturer at UON

- 1st Female to serve as Member of Cabinet of the GOK

- United Nations  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Ceres Gold Medal for championing Social Economic Empowerment of Rural Youth and Women (1976)

- President’s Awards = Chief of the Order of the Burning Speer (CBS) {2017}; Elder of the Burning Speer (EBS) {2015} and Moran of the Order of the Burning Speer (MBS) {2003}

- Pioneered and entrenched the 1st Five Year Strategic Plan for the UON Council

2. Prof. George Albert O. Magoha (retired) (RANK 2):

Outstanding fundraiser towards infrastructural and research transformation of the University


- CHS Admn Block, UoN Towers & KMPD Council New Building

- Immense Grants & Collaborations Growth

- President’s Awards = Chief of the Order of the Burning Speer (CBS) {2016}; Elder of the Burning Speer (EBS) {2006}, and Moran of the Order of the Burning Speer (MBS) {2005}

3. Prof. Miriam Khamadi Were (Retired) (RANK 3):

Outstanding Champion in establishment of Public Health Programs in the University and the Country


  • Pioneered Primary Health Care Research and Programs implementation at the Community level
  • President’s Awards – EBS (2005)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Gold Medical for Public Health in the Commonwealth (2007)
  • Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Services by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan (2008)
  • Pioneer Health Award by AMREF USA (2010)
  • 2020 Order of the Rising Sun. Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Gov of Japan. Highest Civilian Order

4. Dr. Joyce O. Musandu (Posthumous) (RANK 4):

Renowned for setting a strong foundation for institutionalization of the Nursing profession in Kenya and beyond



  • Founder of the East, Central and Southern Africa College of Nursing
  • Woman of the Year 1998 Award by the American Biographical Institute
  • Founder and Donor of the Best Clinical Nurse of the Year

5. Prof. Walter G. Jaoko (In service) (RANK 5):

Championed the establishment of the internationally recognized KAVI- Clinical Research Institute




-Pioneer HIV/AIDS Clinical Research and Vaccine initiatives

  • Recognized as one of the 10 most influential scientist in HIV/AIDS research by Westminster Parliament




College of Humanities & Social Sciences

1. Prof. Duncan Okoth-Okombo (Posthumous) (RANK 1): Pioneer of Inclusivity through introduction of Kenya Sign Language in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010



Officially introduced the Kenyan Sign Language (KSL).

-Through collaboration between UoN  and Kenyan National Association of the Deaf (KNAD), the Kenyan sign language research project was established in 1991 to conduct research on KSL to confirm if indeed it had the qualities of a language. Principal, CHSS to provide details and justify. 

2. Prof. Michael Ndurumo (in service) (Rank 2):

Breaker of glass ceilings in the Transformation of special needs education on the African Continent



-Pioneered the development of Kenyan Sign Language now anchored in the Constitution.

-The first deaf person in East and Central Africa and the third in Africa, to be awarded a PhD in all fields in 1980.


Principal, CHSS to provide details. 


Prof. Ndurumo is a member of international committee of the International Congress on Education of the Deaf (est. 1880); and wrote the first textbook on special education in Africa.

Further, he has written a book on history of education for the deaf in Kenya (in press); is chief editor of the African Annals of the Deaf; founding chairman of the Kenya National Association of the Deaf; former commissioner of the Education Commission of Inquiry into the education system in Kenya; member of the University Disability Mainstreaming Committee; peer reviewer at CUE; guided the development of the Master of Psychology, and Master of Education in Special Education courses; and was awarded the Head of State Commendation for his exemplary service to the nation

3. Prof. Dorothy McCormick (retired) (Rank 3):

Outstanding contribution to resource mobilization for emerging scholars and practitioners in development research


Oversaw projects which gave scholarships to Masters and PhD students e.g. the Successful African Firms and Institutional Change (SAFIC), which were instrumental in sponsoring the next generation of Kenyan development scholars and practitioners.


Principal, CHSS to provide details. 


Apart from SAFIC, Prof. McCormick was also in charge of the following major projects which also sponsored students: The Influence of Entrepreneurial Leadership and Social Capital on Resource Assembly and Firm Performance in Small- and Medium-Sized Firms in East Africa’; Adjusting to Chinese Ascendancy in the Global Clothing Industry; Paratransit Operations and Regulation in Nairobi: Business Strategies, External Linkages, and Regulatory Compliance; Donor Proliferation and Co-ordination: Effects on State Capacity; African Clothing and Footwear Research Network: Innovation, Employment and Poverty Reduction; Research and Technical Support to Renewed Road Safety Measures in Kenya; among others. These multiple projects that Prof. McCormick was in charge of were instrumental in sponsoring the next generation of Kenyan development scholars and practitioners many of whom are in academia today, working with the government as well as local and international development agencies

4. Prof. Maria Nzomo (in service) (Rank 4): Gender Champion through Women’s Rights Awareness and National Policy Action



First female in Kenya to obtain a PhD in Political Science and International relations.

Prof. Nzomo has utilized this ground-breaking academic position, to mentor and inspire numerous students, particularly young women to pursue higher education.

Nzomo has utilized her intellectual and managerial leadership skills to transform IDIS into a Center of academic excellence.

Prof. Nzomo’s high profile public roles and experience gained from international & diplomatic engagements, has helped to transform and enhance UoN & IDIS global image, attract students & strategic partners.

She has played a role in translating academic knowledge into transformative Contribution to Rights awareness & national policy action.

She has Distinguished Diplomatic/Public Service & other international accomplishments that have significantly contributed to the transformation of IDIS into a leading and premier regional institute of Diplomacy & International Studies.

She has received awards for Scientific and Social distinction.





1. Mr. Bernard M. Waweru (Posthumous) (Rank 1): Outstanding and dedicated service to the Joint Admission Board (forerunner to KUCCPS) and the University Senate

-Long serving Academic Registrar. He strictly applied academic rules and regulations.

-He was in charge of the JAB Secretariat and guided its operations until it was converted to the current Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS)

-He was extremely organized, meticulous, and calm under pressure and a mentor to many administrators.

-Very loyal, honest, respectful and dedicated to his work.

2. Mr. Brian Ouma (in service) (Rank 2): Outstanding skills capacity in resource mobilization for capital projects


A seasoned resource mobilizer  and skilled architect of strategic collaborations /partnerships and high value capital projects.

Some of the notable  achievements:

1. The construction of the UoN students hostel/ attendant facilities at a cost of Ksh 4.8B and University of Nairobi Teaching Traning and Research Hospital costing $49.73 (Ksh 4.97B) under the specially permitted procurement procedure.

2. The Engineering and Science Complex at a cost of Ksh 5,387,601,764 billion whose implementation is currently ongoing. The funding partner is the Agence Francaise De Development (AFD).

Has been spearheading several collaborations with local and international partners i.e Collaborations with International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO and Creative Technologies, Ford foundation and the Indian High commission among others.

He secured donor funding and implemented the development of the first Government of Kenya Retinoblastoma Bestpractice Guidelines with the Ministry of Health in partnership with University of Nairobi, further he secured funding for the establishment and equipping of the e-pathology lab  at the  school of Deental Sceince that suported digitilization of pathology and allowed realtime consultation  betweeen the doctors at the University of Nairobi  and the world wide.

3. Mrs. Jacinta Were (retired) (Rank 3): outstanding contribution to the expansion, modernization and digitization of University Library services



-Initiated effort that led to the expansion of the number of libraries from initial 6 to current 14. Was instrumental to the establishment of a digital repository that has resulted to increased openness of the University and high ranking in webometrics. Consequently, the University has the largest digital repository in Africa and the 4th globally.

-She initiated and implemented an automation project that saw the Library migrate from traditional service to automated service delivery


4. Prof. Christopher M. Gakuu

(Rank 4): Pioneer in development of  the philosophy and practice of   open, distance and e-learning mode of delivery



  • Prof. Gakuu is the first graduate of doctor of philosophy distance education in Kenya and the region.
  • He initiated many programmes offered through the  open, distance and e-learning mode of delivery and these  continue to attract many students locally and internationally due to the flexibility of the mode.
  • Under his leadership, the University implemented a robust learning management system (LMS) as well as launching mobile learning at the university. This has become very relevant during COVID -19 Pandemic as the LMS was used and continues being used for teaching and learning as well as for examinations.


5. Prof. Elijah Omwenga (in service) (Rank 5): developer of  the first local Learning Management System called  WEDUSOFT


  • Prof. Elijah Omwenga developed the first e- Learning Platform code-named WEDUSOFT for the University of Nairobi. It was an innovation that was the first of its kind in public universities in Kenya.
  • The innovation enabled teaching content to be offered electronically to students in several programmes in the University of Nairobi.
  • The impact of this innovation has been felt in all Faculties. Schools and Institutes of the University Currently a total of 25 academic programmes have e-learning content in the Moodle based e-learning portal (e-class) of the University.