Kenyatta University has secured funding to establish a National Reference Research Centre for Phyto-therapeutics. The infrastructure grant of Ksh69M was awarded by the National Research Fund to address efforts towards up-scaling and quality assurance in phytotherapeutics.
Upon establishment, the center will be utilized by the researchers within the country and the region. Phytotherapy is a science-based practice distinguished from other more traditional approaches such as medical herbalism. It relies on an empirical appreciation of medicinal herbs and is often linked to traditional knowledge.
KU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Paul Wainaina said: “Part of Kenyatta University’s efforts have been complementing the funding by putting in place requisite mechanisms to ensure optimal utilization and sustainability of the research facility at our ‘techno-park’. He said KU aims at entrenching the role of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) in the East Africa region for social and economic development by steering objectives aimed at fostering national prosperity and global competitiveness in line with EAC goals.
Establishment of the research center at Kenyatta University will also address the second medium-term plan (2013-2017) of the Kenya Vision 2030 on commercialization of research and development results as well as innovations.The center which will be coordinated by Prof. Nicholas Gikonyo of KU targets natural health products. In addition, Vice Chancellor Prof. Wainaina said the Kenyatta University’s strategic and vision plan 2016-2026 lays emphasis on the uptake of research findings, entrepreneurship & innovation, protection and commercialization of intellectual property rights. The new center is expected to build a vibrant natural health products industry through development and utilization of an interface between indigenous knowledge and modern science, as well as technology and innovations. It is expected to the development and manufacture of niche natural health products that meet national and international standards.