VICE CHANCELLOR’S SPEECH DURING H.E THE FRENCH AMBASSADOR’S, MR REMI MARECHAUX, VISIT TO MMUST, KAKAMEGA ON FRIDAY, 18TH SEPTEMBER, 2015

• Your Excellency, the Ambassador of France to Kenya, Remi Marechaux,

• Distinguished Guests,

• University Professors, Deans, Heads of Departments and Faculty

• Our Dear Students,

• Ladies and Gentlemen, I greet you all, Bonjour!

I take this opportunity to welcome you to Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology in a special French way. Let me start by saying, Feel at home or, as you say in French; soyez la bienvenue et sentez-vous a la maison, (karibu). It is great honour to host the French delegation yet another time. We are delighted. As a University, we believe that we are creating history from this great Kenya-French co-operation. MMUST wishes to be at the centre of this co-operation.

Your Excellency, I wish to appreciate your French Government’s visible contribution towards the development of human resource capacity in Kenya. As a University, we will never stop thanking you for your support in establishing a French Resource Centre here at MMUST. I wish to attribute this to the cordial collaboration we have had with the Embassy for more than five (5) years now. Through this partnership, Your Excellency, our ambition to have French courses take root in this institution is now a reality. Our first Graduates in French are now working not just in Kenya but as far as the Republic of Congo and other countries of the world. Our all-rounded graduates have been received well in the job market.

You have also helped in building capacity for our French language lecturers. In 2011, Joyce Kasili, a French lecturer got a scholarship for her Master 2 at the University of Rouen in France. She is currently pursuing a course in French for Specific Objectives organized and supported by the French Embassy. In addition, Prof. Kazadi is currently a Trainer for PRO FLE (French in the Professional Environment), having completed his PRO FLE training at the Alliance Française. The training is organized in partnership with CNED and the French Embassy. Another lecturer, Rose Auma, is currently pursuing the same program of PRO FLE at the Alliance Française in Nairobi. The Embassy initiated and supported Prof. Kazadi on a trip to Bujumbura in July 2014 to attend a seminar for Heads of French Departments in Universities in the East and Central African regions, organized by the AUF (Agency for Francophone Universities). MMUST has since become a member of the AUF and this has brought pride and satisfaction to the entire University. Staff can now take part in activities organized by the AUF (Congress, colloquia, meetings and scientific days), benefit from resources provided by the Agency (books, publications, on line library) as well as research (supervision and co-supervision).

We are moving to the next phase in the growth of our University: developing the infrastructure. In this phase, we wish to develop both the infrastructure and the research capacity of our staff. Indeed, we would request for assistance in this regard. We have an ambitious 12.4 billion Strategic Plan for the University. Of the total cost, infrastructure will account for 1.2 billion Kenya shillings. Your Excellency, I believe any assistance that we would get from the French Government will go a long way in helping our staff and students.

Today, we are signing an MoU between the French Institute of Research for Development (IRD) and the Department of Sports Science. The Department of Sports Science and IRD have been collaborating informally on research projects. These include a social science research workshop where thirty (30) members of the University were trained by Dr. Benoit Gauvin and consequently, development of ideas that culminated in the First East Africa Athletics Conference held in Addis Ababa in June 2015. Currently, one member of staff in the Department of Sports Science, Mr. Issa Kweyu, is in France for three and a half months capacity building training courtesy of the French Embassy. As a University in a sporting nation, we hope to be a Centre of Sports Excellence (CSE). Indeed, we have started a Talent Scholarship Scheme intended at recognising and growing talent among our students and subsequently, the community. Mr. Denis Oliech, a Kenyan who once played football in France, is from this Western Kenya Region, the hinterland of the University. 

Your Excellency, there are indeed many areas in which the partnership can enable us flourish. And we are ready to nurture that partnership. 

Once again, welcome.

God Bless You. God Bless France. God Bless Kenya.

Thank You, Ahsante Sana. Merci Beaucoup.

Prof. F.A.O Otieno, FAAS,

Vice Chancellor,

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology

P.O Box 190-50100

Kakamega, Kenya

Email: vc@mmust.ac.ke

Tel. No: +254 56 30686

18th September 2015

 P. O. BOX 190-50100, Kakamega

Phone no: +254 702597360/1

                  +254 733120020/2

                   057 2505222/3

email: info@mmust.ac.ke.

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