MMUST hosts world’s top brains in conference

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) holds a three days land mark conference dubbed Inter-Multi-disciplinary conference in June.

Vice chancellor Professor Joseph Bosire said plans for the event were already in place.

Prof Bosire says the aim of the conference that received more than 60 partners is to set the stage to move Africa to technology adoption in re alignment to vision 2030 and Africa Agenda 2063.

Prof Bosire who was previously the Deputy CV, at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology(JOOUST) says that this, if adopted, will ensure sustainable growth and improved food security including achieving the four Agenda pillars of the Jubilee government.

The event that kicks off  from 19th-21st June draws participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, China and USA among other countries.

The VC said that the myriad of problems that face that world could only be solved through a multi-disciplinary approach where stakeholders from diverse sectors are brought on board.

The key reason for the conference is to create a platform for scholars to share experiences, knowledge and research to the world industry and communities.

The VC cited an ambitious sickle cell anaemia programme that the institution in partnership with Bolstale University has conceived that if successful, will demystify the myth that children born with the disease must die at the age of 15 years and below.

Prof Bosire says that although they have formulated two approaches of how to tackle the myths that surround the disease, many communities link it with bewitchment or curses.

He adds that the school of education is spearheading the programme where they visit schools and engage care takers of those living sicklers on how to manage the condition.

“The programme helps manage the condition of the survivors through counselling,” adds Bosire.

Those who miss classes 100 percent when the situation proves dire are given remedial classes when the condition improves.

Prof Bosire adds that the second multidisciplinary approach is through sociology where families and care takers are counselled and informed that the condition is health related and not bewitchment.

 Creativity and innovation

He adds that the institution boasts of an incubation center for creativity and innovation where water is purified and provision of laundry machine at Jua Kali level.

Prof Bosire says that nutrition is also a key approach that they have embraced where they produce mushroom and flour that boosts immunity.

Other projects include jiggers control and cancer screening in girls’ schools across the region.

He adds that center for Africa women and science is the regional center for western region where 7 students from the institution doing research managed to represent the institution in Bangkok, China for a major event recently.

Prof Bosire adds that during the exercise, participants will publish the proceedings in special journals of the University for Future References.

He said that during a recent conference that he attended, it was revealed that Africa performs dismally in global publications as compared to other continents.

“Africa contributes 1% of the global research which is a small percentage,” says Bosire who urges the universities to focus mostly on research and innovation.

Prof Bosire adds that only South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria feature among some of the competitive countries that have proved to publish unrivalled research journals from the African continent.

He says that this affects the global ranking of the universities hence the need to provide such forums for publications.

Laughing stock

“You either publish or perish,” adds the academician saying Africa has been a laughing stock for high population growth and not research production.

Prof Bosire says that during the conference, space will be availed for exhibitions which promote innovation.

He invited book publishers to display their wares.

“We also wish to invite computer firms to showcase digitalized world since we are fast moving towards that direction,” adds the don.

He adds that already they have received 240 papers for presentation ranging from various topics. 

The VC was accompanied by Rev. Prof Judith Achoka who is the Director Research and post graduate support and also doubles up as the associate professor in the department of education, planning and management.

He adds that governors from the Great Lake Basin bloc that includes Siaya, Busia, Kakamega, Kisumu, HomaBay, Migori will feature promptly during the event that will be graced by Education CS Prof George Magoha.

Kericho, Turkana, Nandi, West Pokot,V ihiga and Trans Nzoia are among the otyher county governments expected at the event.

The university which is named after the doyen of opposition politics in Western Kenya, stands at a serene environment conducive for learning.

It is also ideal for carrying research activities. It is adjacent to the famous Bukhungu stadium for the soccer enthusiasts.

The institution is strategically located barely 100 meters from the main town with quick access through both motorcycle and motor vehicle transport, says Prof Bosire with sharp soft voice accompanied by an ever smiling face.

MMUST can be approached from various roads.

It can be accessed from the Kisumu-Vihiga-Kakamega road or Ugunja-Mumias-Kakamega road.

This makes it easier for those seeking to visit the institution.

Scholar Media Group Ltd, Kabras Sugar, IG Sacco and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) are some of the sponsors of the conference.

CAPTION: MMUST VC Prof. Joseph Bosire and other university staff briefs The Scholar Reporter about the conference. photo/MMUST.