KAKAMEGA, Kenya Dec 7 – Former President Mwai Kibaki is strongly advocating for the need to invest heavily in human capital in order to realize faster economic and social development in the country.
He noted that investing more in human capital would lead to the development of material capital that would in turn pave the way for wealth creation and would easily translate to improved living standards for Kenyans.
The former Head of State called for concerted efforts by parents and all other stake holders to step-up their investment in the youth, maintaining that this was the surest way of guaranteeing a prosperous future for Kenya.
“A country that seeks rapid economic and social development must invest heavily in its human capital. This is what, in turn, leads to the development of material capital. It also paves the way for wealth creation and improvement of the quality of life of the citizens,” he said.
Kibaki made the remarks on Friday when he presided over the 10th graduation ceremony of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in Kakamega County. A total of 3254 graduands were awarded various awards that included degrees and diplomas.
During the same occasion, Kibaki urged the national government to allocate more resources to institutions of higher learning in order to cater for their expansion and enable them admit more students desirous of the pursuit of higher education.
The former Head of State also challenged county governments and the private sector to partner with the university and secure funds needed to enable the university fulfill their mandates.
Kibaki further maintained that there is need to seriously mentor young graduates in order to prepare them for the real world of work.
He stressed that negotiations between the various professional bodies and the universities aiming at enriching and broadening university curricula focus on mutually beneficial and reinforcing partnerships.
As the Chancellor of Masinde Muliro University, the former president urged the institutionto benchmark its academic programmes against global best practice.
This, he observed, would benefit from a strong university-industry linkage for its would provide the students and academic staff an opportunity to engage in practical application of their training in the real world of work. He noted that would be the best chance for them ‘…to gain first-hand experience of practical application of knowledge and skills in the real world.”
He acknowledged and commended the University for increasing the number of students across various disciplines. Kibaki noted that with over 16,000 students there is need for the university to prioritise the expansion of its facilities in order to give the learners a conducive learning environment.
Kibaki further advised the graduands to put in practice what they have learnt by demonstrating an abiding steadfastness for excellence in their specializations.
“To those graduating today, we urge you to demonstrate steadfast excellence in your areas of specialization. That way you will be making a statement about the quality of training and research at this university,” he said. Adding that to succeed in their careers they must exhibit innovative thinking in all what they do in order to be head and shoulders taller than their peers.
During the occasion the former Head of State also launched a five-year strategic plan for the institution.
Addressing the gathering Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya assured the university that his government will continue supporting the institution to deliver on its mandate of training well qualified graduates.
Adding that more resources will be availed to the science oriented fields in order to enable them training more graduates that will assist the government in tackling the various challenges affecting the community.
In particular, the Governor noted that the school of medicine will greatly support the county government in offering the much needed health care to the residents.
Masinde Muliro University council chairman Dr. David Nyamwaya, and the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Fredrick Otieno who also addressed the congregation stressed their commitment to ensure that the university offers high quality of training in order to make it an institution of choice in the region.
Prof. Otieno revealed that the university’s just launched five-year strategic plan requires at least 12.4 billion shillings to realize hence called for support from well-wishers and donors.