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Speaking during the event, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo identified possible areas of partnership with Konza Technopolis and acknowledged that the collaboration will have a positive impact on the University. He advocated for data backup and power sustainability as the most fundamental areas that the partnership should target, adding that Power supply affects operations in the University including supply of internet. " Our university has reached international standards but there is a big gap in research due to insufficient ICT support. This partnership will strengthen the University in terms of teaching, research and innovation," he stated.

image 85konza2MMUST’s Team led by Prof. John Muoma with the Konza Technopolis team after the workshop held at MCU 002.

The Konza team included, the Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communication, Ms. June Chepkemei; ICT and Smart City Solutions, Mr. Lucas Omollo; ICT and Officer- customer Accounts, Ms. Wilkister Mboroki and Senior Accountant, Mr. Charles Koech of Konza Technopolis. Ms. Chepkemei emphasized on partnership with MMUST as a learning institution. She pointed out that the partnership would have a great impact on staff, students as well as the community. She outlined the aim of the partnership as follows; to build a Smart City in MMUST that will enable increase in research and publications, open distance and e-learning, carrying out joint events and activities and video conferencing.

image 85konza3Prof. Solomon Shibairo receives a gift from Konza Technopolis Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager, Ms. June Chepkemei.

Further, Ms. Chepkemei revealed that the smart city will include technology and innovation to support data management, development of a science park, and support in laid infrastructure in thematic areas of innovation such as engineering and Medicine. This will result in job creation which is one of Kenya's Economic pillars.

"Students have great ideas of research but the ideas end up diminishing due to lack of knowledge and space. We are creating an opportunity for such ideas through joint research and commercialization of the research findings. We look forward to promote economic and social development through creation of technology and knowledge in areas of research," said Ms. Chepkemei.

image 85konza5Prof. Peter Bukhala giving remarks during the Konza Technopolis workshop held in MCU 002.

According to the Director, SPIIC, Prof. Muoma, who was also representing the DVC PRI, Prof. Charles Mutai, there is a need for commercialization and opportunities to network, transfer knowledge and branding. He reiterated that the University's strong team of researchers should work closely with Konza Technopolis since people are looking for something new. "We shall engage with Konza Technopolis for our researchers, innovators and postgraduate students to get an opportunity to share their ideas for commercialization and use by a larger number of people. We have innovations and projects that are worth being commercialized,” he said.

Other notable members of the University present were: UASU Secretary General MMUST Chapter, Dr. Bernard Omogo; Director Postgraduate Studies and Research, Prof. Peter Bukhala; Director, ICT, Mr. Apollo Waliaro; Director Corporate Communication and Marketing, Dr. Lydia Anyonje; Coordinator, Webometrics, Dr. Dennis Ochieno; COD Optometry and Vision Sciences, Dr. Okenwa Vincent; Lecturer SONAS, Dr. Dennis Omayio; Mr. Almond Kutto and Mr. Canon Omondi.

By Verna Awuor and Sharon Achieng

Photos by Wilberforce Shiundu

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