Remarks of the Vice Chancellor at the IBM Launching Ceremony 8th November 2013

vcremarksYour Excellency, Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta – President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces

Hon. Dr.  Fred Matiangi – Cabinet secretary for Communication and Technology                         

Dr. Robert Morris - Vice President, Global Labs, IBM Research   

Dr. Kamal Bhattacharya - Lab Director, IBM Research Africa                  

Dr. Uyi Stewart - Chief Scientist, IBM Research - Africa             

 Kenyan Government Officials

University Staff and Students

Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my pleasure to extend our sincere welcome to our University. This is the largest regional University in the country that has Campuses, Constituent Colleges and Affiliated Colleges. The church and community of the Eastern Africa region made up of the nine countries that own the University were very excited to receive the news of the establishment of the IBM Laboratory at our Institution, the first of its kind in Africa.

We are grateful to the IBM fraternity and the Government of Kenya for conducting a very transparent and competitive search that led to the choice of our University. The dream has become a reality. I am glad to say that the Laboratory has put the name of our University on the map of excellence and we promise to keep terms of engagement as per the MOU that we signed.

Your Excellencies, we acknowledge with certainty technology has changed the face of the world. The information flows more efficiently, effectively and faster. The management of current and future phenomena can be done at a touch of a button. Unfortunately, the continent of Africa is lagging behind and not participating as an equal partner. It is my hope that the presence of the Lab shall address particular challenges facing Africa as well as re-awaken our creativity and improve the quality of life for the people.

As a University, we have put to your disposal, our Facilities, reliable networks up to the grassroots in the AMECEA region together with our Staff and Students to further the mission and vision of the Laboratory. We look forward to have stronger collaboration to the good of our institutions.

I wish to take this opportunity to make some three requests:

  1. There is an acute shortage of highly qualified staff in the area of ICT with the capacity of handling students pursuing postgraduate studies. I appeal that we can form networks between the Lab, the University and the Government on a programme of capacity building to serve the nation of Kenya and the region at large.

  2. Secondly, I wish to appeal for waiver of tax of ICT equipment and materials for learning institutions. This shall lower the cost of learning of ICT and make it more accessible. For example, Primary School Teachers have been making inquiries on the cost of studying ICT and they appear to be limited by the coat.

  3. Finally, I would request for mare structured and integrated University – Industry cooperation. We need to be preparing students to serve and solve the challenges of society. The cooperation shall enable us to review and re-orient our curriculum appropriately.

Once more, on behalf of the University Council, Staff and Students of the University, I say welcome. We are proud to be associated with you.

Msgr. Dr Pius Rutechura

Vice Chancellor

 

 

 

 

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