On Thursday 6th April 2017, Taita Taveta University marked a great milestone in education byl launch of the Centre of Excellence for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management project at the University.
Taita Taveta University becomes the 8th Centre of Excellence in Africa supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
The event was officiated by the Germany Ambassador to Kenya Ms. Jutta Frasch during the 8th Network Meeting of the Centers of African Excellence at the University and was attended by Taita Taveta County Governor Eng. John Mruttu, Director German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Dr. Helmut Blumbach, HTW-Dresden University Vice-Rector for Research Prof. Knut Schmidtke, Prof. Jan Bongaerts from TU-Freiberg University and top scholars from all the Centers of African Excellence.
CEMEREM is expected to offer practical courses in mineral processing and engineering, environmental conservation and resource management. The project will include curriculum development according to Kenyan-German standards, staff and student exchange between Kenya and Germany Universities, support purchase of laboratory equipments at Taita Taveta University, and collaboration with industry and government. The German Federal Foreign Office through the DAAD will fund the project to a tune of 720.000 Euro for the first two years with a possibility of extension for another three years.
Speaking during the launch, Ms. Frasch said that her Government is focused in improving the relation with Kenyan Government through establishing more centers of excellence in partnership with the Kenyan Universities. The aim of the initiative is to prepare Kenyan students for the job market and give them important tools which are needed in professional practice using the German model.
Ms. Frasch said that she is confident that the partnership between Taita Taveta University, Freiberg and Dresden will meet the needs of an increasingly industrialized Kenyan economy thus educating towards the right direction.
She added that, investors from Germany have expressed interest in setting base in Kenya and therefore the need to equip local workers with necessary skills to attract international investors.
The Ambassador hailed the 8thmeeting of the Center of Excellence that aimed at educating universities scholars in areas which are of great importance to the development of their host countries.
Governor John Mruttu hailed the cooperation between Germany and Kenya as he called for more investments in the county. He said that his Government will continue to support the partnership of Taita Taveta University and the Germany Institutions in order to equip youth with skills for labour market.
“As a county, we are delighted with this partnership because in the long ran it will improve the educational standards of our Institution, knowledge dissemination through students/staff exchange from both countries and also creation of jobs to many of our scholars,” he said.
Vice-Rector for Research at HTW Dresden University Prof Knut Schmidtke said institutions of higher learning in Germany would continue to offer technical expertise to local universities and more so Taita Taveta University as a key partner.
The host Vice Chancellor Taita Taveta University, Prof. Hamadi Boga appreciated the support from the German government through DAAD towards the funding of the CEMEREM project, the partnering Universities for their commitment and all invited guest for honoring their invitation to witness the birth of the 8th Center for African Excellence that aims at being a regional leader in Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management.
“There is need for CEMEREM to be a unique model that will overcome bottle neck of weak integration of the existing German-African Centers of Excellence by seeking suitable and inclusive project ownership models in the Universities” Said Prof. Boga
Prof. Boga concluded by assuring the partners of total commitment by Taita Taveta University in the full realization of the set goals in the project.