Masinde Muliro University student is the winner of the sixth (6th) African Standardization Organization (ARSO) National Essay Competition that was organized under the theme – “The Role of Standardization in winning the fight Against Corruption for sustainable Africa’s Transformation’’.
Reu Elondanga, a second (2nd) year Masters student studying Chemistry emerged the winner after his essay featuring the judiciary and investigative agencies was selected to be best among over 200 essay submissions.
“This year’s essay competition was founded on encouraging the Kenyan youth to participate in the Standardization conversation, in winning the fight against corruption to create a sustainable path to Africa’s transformation’’, said Mrs. Esther Ngari, the Standards Director, KEBS.
Through the competition, the participants not only had an opportunity to voice their concerns about corruption in the country, they provided solutions and even went a mile further to give examples of standards that can be implemented to curb corruption.
The competition that ran between December 2018 and February 2019 gave an opportunity for students to grow their knowledge on Standardization and the role it plays in the fight against corruption. The annual contest, which is open to university students in all fields of study, pegs on three categories of winners; National, Regional and Continental level. The mentioned winners were sponsored to attend the African Organization for Standardization General Assembly that was held at Panari Hotel, in Nairobi on 19th June 2019.
Speaking while receiving his prize award of Ksh. 80,000, Mr. Elondanga said, “Judiciary and Investigative agencies have a huge role in curbing corruption in Kenya and tribalism should be put to an end in the institution’s appointments as it is part of the problem that fuels corruption’’.
Anne Wanjiku, a 4th-year student studying Industrial Chemistry at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and Stephen Wachira, 3rd-year student studying Industrial Chemistry at the Technical University of Kenya scooped the 1st and 2nd runners up prize of Ksh. 70,000 and Ksh. 60,000 respectively.
According to Mr. Micah Rachuonyo, one of the judges at the competition, this year’s competition theme was founded to encourage the Kenyan youth to be ambassadors enabling a corruption-free environment by use of the set standards in the country and attributes Elondanga’s win on his versed knowledge and articulation of how standards can tackle the menace of corruption in the country.
The essay theme, “The Role of Standardization in winning the fight against Corruption for sustainable Africa’s Transformation’’ was inspired by the fact that Corruption, is now recognized as a global phenomenon, which has to be addressed coherently and consistently and in recent years, there have been significant increases in the attention paid to corruption, in part due to (I) series of high level corruption cases in industrialized countries and (2) due to an increasing awareness of the costs of corruption throughout the world and (3) due to the political and economic changes which many countries are undergoing (Lawal 2007).
The three (3) will compete for a chance to win the East Africa Community and the African continent prize of 1st position (male and female) each USD 1000, 2nd position – USD 800 and 3rd position – USD 500.
During the mobilization of students in the different universities and colleges, KEBS had the opportunity to engage with the students and create awareness about the essay competition and Standardization across the country. Through these interactions, KEBS also encouraged the institutions to mobilize their students through their social sites, portals or websites to take part in the competition.
The competition, which is organized by The National Standards Bodies (NSB) in Africa at the national level, entails receiving the essays from the participants, doing the assessment and awarding or giving recognition to the winners.