KNA The Ministry of Education has officially opened the 5th Annual Conference of the Co-operative University of Kenya.
The two-day-Conference will see a number of papers presented under the theme of the conference ‘Social and Solidarity Economy as a catalyst for resilience, inclusivity and attainment of Sustainable Development Goals’
Speaking during the opening, Principal Secretary (PS) for Education Amb. Simon Nabukwesi, said the research conference will speak to the various innovations that researchers have built over the years.
“Covid-19 global pandemic shows us, in more ways than we could have imagined, that we are all connected as a people irrespective of the many boundaries and restrictions that we may have,” The PS said,
“When the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya,” he said “most of us, if not all, imagined that this would be a passing cloud and that soon we would resume our normal day to day activities”.
“I am glad to hear that this is the second conference that the University is holding virtually, to discuss Covid-19, a commendable achievement to the University and organizers of this event,” said the PS.
This kind of resilience, Nabukwesi said, emphasizes that life has to indeed move on and research has to be done and documented. He emphasized that research is, and will remain to be, a key activity in any institution of higher learning worth its name.
Further, the PS said research informs the development strategies of any nation and Kenya is no exception.
“It has been reported that less than two percent of all Africans are vaccinated against Covid-19 while in the US it is about 50 percent,” added Nabukwesi.
This Report, the PS said, is a sad reality that serves as an eye opener for developing countries such as Kenya, that special attention and resources ought to be directed towards research and development.
He said nations that do not have their own research capacity, struggle when faced by calamities and pandemics such as the one being experienced in the world.
Nabukwesi said the Ministry continues to lay great emphasis on the importance of research as a means to solving Kenyan, African and even global challenges.
“My challenge to faculty in this University is to contribute to the generation of new knowledge on Cooperatives and how Cooperatives can help us to resolve societal challenges,” added the PS.
Nabukwesi said that he would like to see more research from faculty that focuses, among other topics, how the country can harness the greatness of Cooperatives to contribute to the Government’s Development Agenda, including contributing to the ‘Big Four’ Agenda.