Kenya-France Sh3bn MoU to bolster higher education

The Ministry of Education has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the French Development Agency AFD to support the higher education programme in Kenya.

Speaking during the signing, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi described the partnership with the French agency as milestone that would go a long way in facilitating research in the universities.

The MoU will see Kenyan universities get a Sh3 billion concessional loan from AFD over the next three years which will be channelled to two local commercial banks.

A steering committee from various education stakeholders will then be formed to validate research proposals from the universities to receive funding from the kitty.

The eligible project to this credit line will include infrastructure developments such as campuses, laboratories, equipment, lecture halls and hospitals.

“We are very glad about the partnership between our two countries as it will increase research facilities in our country,” Matiangi said.

“As we are aware financing higher education puts a strain on the exchequer and this deal could not have come at a more worthy time,” Matiangi added.

French Ambassador to Kenya Remi Marechaux also expressed optimism over the MoU signing saying his country is committed to expanding Kenya’s development infrastructure.

“Kenya’s greatest natural resource is its human resource and France is determined to see it live up to its potential,” Marechaux said.

“Kenya has a very balanced economy with endless possibilities therefore it is important that Kenya invests heavily in its education,” the envoy added.

The ambassador described the MoUs as a win-win for both countries outlining that it would trigger development for the country’s economic blueprint Vision 2030.

The CS was also quick to add that the partnership is open to all Kenyan universities whether public or private as this made the process more competitive.

“I would like to state that the education ministry is not discriminatory in the way we deal with universities and private universities are therefore encouraged to present proposals,” the CS added.

Matiangi also said that his ministry’s priority was increasing the numbers of students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) coalition of programs.

“We need to graduate 1000 PhD graduands annually who will then be ploughed back to stimulate research and innovation in our institutions,” Matiangi said.

 

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