Tuesday, March 28, 2023

A Delegation from the French Embassy in Kenya, led by the Head of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Denis SAINTE-MARIE, paid a courtesy call to the Vice Chancellor Prof Stephen
Kiama, on Monday, March 27, 2023. He was accompanied by the French Embassy attaché for Scientific and University Cooperation, Professional Training, Mr. Mathieu GUERIN.
The new Head of Cooperation and Cultural Affairs was on a familiarization visit to the university and to explore ways in which the two parties could work together towards achieving common goals in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

One of the significant collaborative projects between the French government, through the French Development Agency (AFD), and UoN, as an implementing partner, is the construction of an Engineering and Science Complex (ESC). This project aims to provide state-of-the-art facilities for students pursuing STEM programs and promote research and innovation in these fields. The ESC is expected to have a transformative impact on the university and the wider community by fostering innovation, enhancing research capacity, and improving the quality of education in STEM.

The Science and Engineering Complex project aims to increase the number of girls enrolled in STEM programs, which will help address the gender gap in these fields. By providing equal opportunities for women and men to pursue STEM careers, the project seeks to empower women and promote gender equality.

Furthermore, the ESC project aims to bridge the skills gap between the industry and academia. The collaboration between the university and the industry will help ensure that graduates have the necessary skills and knowledge to meet the demands of the job market. This will help create a pool of highly skilled professionals who can drive the country's economic development.

The ESC project will also promote collaboration between different STEM subjects. By teaching STEM subjects in the same environment, students can benefit from close interaction and sharing of knowledge, as well as cross-pollination of ideas. This will help promote interdisciplinary research and innovation, which is essential for solving complex problems.

In conclusion, the collaboration between the French government, through the French Development Agency (AFD), and the University of Nairobi (UoN), through the Engineering and Science Complex project, aims to promote research, innovation, and education in STEM fields. The project's transformative deliverables include increasing the number of girls enrolled in STEM programs, bridging the skills gap between the industry and academia, and promoting interdisciplinary research and innovation.

Mr. SAINTE-MARIE received a briefing on the status of the project and progress made ahead of the ground breaking ceremony. Other existing collaborations in student exchange program and staff mobility were also discussed. The Vice Chancellor on his part expressed gratitude for the continued cooperation by the French Government.