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MMUST, LREB, and Sokoni Magharibi Sign Tripartite MOU in a Bid to Foster Revival of the Sugar Industry in Kenya

Prof. Maurice Vincent Omolo signs a copy of the MoU as MMUST and Sokoni Magharibi teams look on.

Following the signing of a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) and Sokoni Magharibi, the three (3) institutions are set to revitalize the sugar industry in Kenya. The organizations will foster revival of the sugar industry through diversification of sugarcane and its by-products, and by establishing a semi-autonomous bio-innovation hub, which will be housed in MMUST. The MoU was signed on Friday, 19 April, 2024 at the University, in a ceremony that was attended by top officials from MMUST, LREB and Sokoni Magharibi, as well as international partners.

Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony, Prof. Maurice Vincent Omolo, who was standing in for the Ag. Vice Chancellor-Prof. Charles Mutai, pointed out that the sugar industry produces enormous volumes of agro waste, which can be converted into high value products such as fertilizers. “As an institution of higher learning and on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, I welcome this partnership and assure our partners that MMUST will play its role in it. This MoU enables us to have a platform under which we will engage and be able to pursue common goals as outlined in the document,” said Prof. Omolo, adding that the sugar industry has a capacity to create numerous opportunities.


MMUST-Sokoni Magharibi teams celebrate after the signing of the MoU.

The Chief Executive Officer-LREB, Mr. Victor Nyagaya, said that he was happy to see the project, which was initiated a very long time ago, come to fruition. He added that he looked forward to putting the MoU into effect, and assured the parties of LREB’s full support.

“This is the beginning of a journey to transform the Western region. I am glad that we are finally executing our agreement, and I would like to thank all the parties involved in this MoU,” stated Advocate Aggrey Shitsama (Amb.), who signed on behalf of Sokoni Magharibi. In her remarks, the Program Coordinator and Managing Associate at Sokoni Magharibi, Ms. Gillian Mutere, said that her organization will proactively market the parties’ projects in the region as well as in the international arena. She added, “we have outlined the formal unveiling of the MoU, which will take place very soon.”


Advocate Aggrey Shitsama gives his remarks during the MoU signing ceremony.

MMUST’s Coordinator of Strategic Planning, Dr. Rose Opiyo, noted that such collaborations have a long-lasting impact on the community, saying that the University is keen on pushing its partnership agenda. “This collaboration brings on board many other partners who will help us to achieve our goals. Let us make sure that the partnership works for us, and the entire LREB region,” said Dr. Opiyo, who was representing the Ag. Director, Directorate of International Relations and Academic Linkages (DIAL), Dr. Edwin Kanda.

The Dean-School of Agriculture, Veterinary Sciences and Technology (SAVET), Dr. Vitalis Ogemah, reiterated that with an MoU in place, the three (3) institutions will be able to conduct many projects relating to the sugar industry. “We will try our best to achieve the desired results,” he stated.


Tripartite MoU signing ceremony participants at the Vice Chancellor’s boardroom.

Other members present during the semi-virtual MoU signing ceremony were; Prof. Alice Ndiema (MMUST), Dr. Lydia Anyonje (MMUST), Mr. Liyala Omulisya (Western Elites Association), Mr. Vincent Luzira (Africa Center for Sustainable Development), Mr. Peter Guya (Sokoni Magharibi), Mr. Nelman Monari (MMUST), Mr. Victor Malimu (MMUST) and Ms. Jacinta Kegehi (Aggrey Shikanga Shitsama Advocate and Commissioner for Oaths) and Mr. Mulindi Malaba (MMUST).

The MMUST, LREB and Sokoni Magharibi collaboration is off to a great start and will certainly make a positive impact on the sugar industry in the Western region and beyond.

By Wangari Wambugu 

Photos by Shiundu Masafu

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