A new chapter is opened as Kenya endeavours to develop in the field of ICT
By George Gichuki
Information and communication technology (ICT) has become an integral part of humankind’s pursuit of economic goals the world over. Given ICT’s dynamism, the globe has become one big village where people can communicate, do business and generally interact with ease. It is against this background that Microsoft (a global ICT giant) and Mount Kenya University (MKU), which is the leading private university in Kenya, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Dubbed the Microsoft Education Transformation Agreement (ETA) – MoU, the ceremony was a culmination of hard work by the organizing committee comprising a team from Microsoft, Tabarin and some MKU staff members.
Speaking during the colourful event, Prof. Stanley Waudo, the Vice Chancellor of MKU emphasized that ICT is an important tool of socio-economic development. “ICT is a critical component in our day to day operations including educational activities,” said Prof. Waudo, adding that it also supports teaching and learning processes. In that regard, MKU’s open distance and electronic learning (ODEL) as well as the distance institution based and electronic learning (DIBeL) programmes are both supported by a state of the art ICT infrastructure. The VC further noted that MKU’s collaboration with Microsoft will enhance the university’s ability to leverage on opportunities including developing competitive advantages provided by ICT, besides helping students to gain skills that will ease their entry into the labour market and entrepreneurship. The initiative is in line with the university’s strategic plan and it resonates with its goal of ensuring that the youth in Kenya are competitively positioned in the global labour market.
On his part, Dr. Peter Kirira, Director, MKU Foundation observed that ETA will enable MKU to benefit from a data assessment centre. “I am optimistic that MKU will qualify to be a Microsoft Innovation Institution in the near future,” he said. The foundation facilitates needy students to pursue education by mobilizing resources from various partners. In that breath, Dr. Kirira appealed to Microsoft to support MKU in facilitating academic exchange programmes as well as travel, training and research grants.
By the same token, Dr. Vincent Gaitho, the Vice Chairman of MKU’s university council emphasized that ICT has gone a long way in transitioning Kenya to knowledge based economy on top of driving job creation. “The university council will support the spirit and the letter of this agreement,” Dr. Gaitho promised.