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MMUST Set to Be a Trail Blazer in Science, Technology and Innovation After Signing Memoranda With KANFCCO and AAK

On 21st September, 2021, Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology made history by signing two (2) Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Kakamega Natural Forest Catchment Conservation Organization (KANFCCO) and Automobile Association of Kenya (AAK). One MoU was drawn between KANFCCO and MMUST’s Institute of Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Studies (IIKCS), while the other was between AAK and the MMUST TVET institute.

Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Solomon Shibairo, stated that a University is deemed to be doing well if it involves the community. “We should not lose our traditional knowledge. We should in fact be very proud of our cultural heritage and utilize it for the socio-economic development our people. For example, Kakamega forest carries numerous benefits both for medicine and climate change. Who knows? This forest could be the answer to most of our ailments including COVID-19,” said Prof. Shibairo, adding that he hoped the IIKCS-KANFCCO collaboration would go a long way in preserving indigenous knowledge.


Indigenous knowledge is an area that is rich in research, documentation and publications. “IIKCS’ focus is on the dissemination of indigenous knowledge that can help people understand themselves. Our interests are similar to those of KANFCCO and this partnership will enable us to conduct research in traditional medicine, foods and other aspects of culture,” stated the Director IIKCS, Prof. John Shiundu.

In reference to the TVET-AAK MoU, the Ag. Vice Chancellor recognized the importance of driving skills in the modern world and stated that this particular collaboration will ensure this is achieved. MMUST’s TVET institute is in the process of starting driving courses and therefore decided to go into an MoU with AAK so that students and staff can get the best packages. “Students need to be trained on road safety and should acquire driving licenses. It is now becoming a necessity for most graduates to have extra skills such as driving,” said the Director TVET, Dr. Samuel Waweru, who was also representing the Ag. DVC (Planning, Research and Innovation), Prof. J.S.K. Achoka at the ceremony.

It is worth noting that MMUST was recently registered by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority (TVETA) allowing it to offer TVET courses. This MoU with AAK will greatly enhance the skills set that MMUST offers its students.

The Ag. DVC (Administration and Finance), Prof. Charles Mutai, said that there is need for MMUST to tap into the rich traditional knowledge and come up with products that can help address modern problems. The Ag. DVC (Academic and Students Affairs), Prof. Peter Odera, reiterated that the University should make efforts towards understanding different cultures and use that knowledge especially in research. “We will make good use of Kakamega forest. We can even construct some leisure joints out there so that we can have more people touring the forest,” he said.

The Chair Kakamega County Committee on Benefits Sharing, Mr. Luke Shikanga Odipo, accompanied KANFCCO members to the ceremony. He said that his Committee is based on the ‘Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity.’

“We ensure that those who access local resources share the benefits with the community. We also assist the community to establish collaborations with institutions such as MMUST,” he stated. Further, he mentioned that MMUST nominated two (2) members of staff to the technical committee, namely Dr. Dennis Ochieno and Dr. Humphrey Agevi both from the Department of Biological Sciences.

Dr. Dennis Ochieno noted that it was the first time different organs were converging at the University for the benefit of the community. He said that the project has far-reaching effects and that Institutions of Higher Learning should be at the forefront of addressing the problems of the community. 

Indeed, MMUST is set to be a trail blazer in science, technology and innovation.

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Institute of Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Studies (IIKCS)

P. O. Box 190 - 50100

Kakamega, Kenya

Telephone: (056) 30282 Fax No: (056) 30153