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Columbia University opens first Center for Africa in Nairobi


Columbia University has opened a Global Center in Kenya, making the centre the first in Africa. Columbia University’s decision to establish the center for Kenya is part of a farsighted strategy to expand its global impact and create an academic environment informed by perspectives from around the world.


The Global Centers network has been an integral part of this process, by developing regional hubs for Columbia’s research, policy and academic work abroad.


“The big ambition is to create an intellectual, academic and scholarly community which is globally integrated, and address simultaneously the huge challenges that globalization itself has brought,” said Prof. Kenneth Prewitt, Vice President for Global Centers, guest speaker at the event.


President Mwai Kibaki, who opened the centre, hailed it as a development that will help the country in the achievement of Vision 20130.
”Technical and vocational training at middle level tertiary education is also undergoing unprecedented reforms to promote the integration of science, technology and innovation into the national production systems for sustainable development,” said the President.


The centre will in addition to providing a base for Columbia’s research and academic activities also host the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Centre for East and Southern Africa as a flagship program.


The Nairobi-based MDG Centre supports and implements the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) in six countries – Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia.


The Center will also provide a base for the Columbia University’s students and academics to conduct contextualized research work in and for Africa guided by the continent’s real life challenges while transforming Nairobi into the region’s academic hub to benefit both the country and its neighbors.


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