First KAFU National Conference: Advancing Sustainable Development through Multidisciplinary Approaches

Conference attendance

 The Kaimosi Friends University (KAFU) National Conference commenced on May 15, 2023, marking a significant milestone for the institution. With participants from 26 universities, the virtual conference featured 48 papers to be presented over the course of two days. The theme of the conference, "Innovative Multidisciplinary Approaches to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals," was officially inaugurated by the acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ogodo, M.J. Nandi, at the University's Old Library.

In his opening speech, Prof. Nandi described the conference as a memorable moment for KAFU, which recently obtained its charter on August 2, 2022, becoming a fully-fledged university. He emphasized that the conference serves as a launchpad for KAFU's academic journey, unlocking the potential of multidisciplinary research and collaboration. The Vice Chancellor expressed optimism that the well-researched and peer-reviewed papers presented during the conference would offer scholarly solutions to the various societal challenges in the areas of social, economic, educational, environmental, and political domains.

Prof. Nandi urged presenters to embrace multidisciplinary research as a means to attract research grants and effectively address present societal challenges. He also encouraged the utilization of technology in line with the government's plans to revolutionize the economy through technological advancements. The Vice Chancellor expressed gratitude to the conference sponsors and those who responded to the call for participation, while acknowledging the keynote speakers, Prof. Chege Githiora from Kenyatta University and Prof. Godfrey Netondo from Maseno University, for their contributions.

Prof. Netondo, in his address, emphasized the importance of policy makers embracing scientists for practical solutions. He highlighted the crucial role of scientists in driving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and emphasized that their research output forms the basis for policy formulation and advocacy, as exemplified by the KAFU annual conference. Prof. Netondo stated that the SDGs provide a blueprint for creating a sustainable future, requiring collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, with scientists playing a pivotal role as key enablers.

Prof. Githiora emphasized the interconnectedness of language and cognitive development, highlighting how language shapes our thinking processes. He stressed the importance of multilingual education, which showcases the potential of language in driving socio-economic development. He pointed out that effective communication is crucial for executing research and transferring knowledge to communities. Language, he said, plays a vital role in articulating scientific concepts, fostering innovation, and enabling social mobility through foreign languages. He proposed that embracing multilingual education systems can stimulate sustainable development by promoting equity, enhancing cognitive abilities, facilitating dialogue between learners and teachers, instilling confidence, and fostering global citizenship. Prof. Githiora recommended integrating African indigenous languages in education, advocating for eight years of mother tongue education, training teachers in multiple languages, and promoting publishing in Kenyan-African languages to support SDG number 4 on quality education and lifelong learning.

The conference encompassed several sub-themes, including climate change mitigation and the transition from the 8-4-4 education system to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). It aimed to ignite a meaningful debate on the direction of academic research in addressing global economic, social, environmental, and educational challenges in the 21st century and beyond.

The list of presenters featured renowned experts such as Prof. Joy Obando, a climate change scholar and geographer from Kenyatta University, and Prof. Bernard Okelo, a Mathematician from Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology. Additionally, Dr. Alex Koech, an finance expert from Umma University, Dr. Adan Maalim, an Educational Management specialist from Garissa University, and Prof. John Okoth, a Nursing Sciences expert from Masinde Muliro University, were among the distinguished presenters. KAFU's acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, Prof. Julius Kipkemboi, a biological scientist and water expert, would also be presenting alongside Dr. Jane Imbunya, a national competency-based curriculum expert from KAFU, and Prof. Misia M.M. Kadenyi, an Education Professor from Maasai Mara University.

The conference holds great significance for Kaimosi Friends University as it aligns with the institution's vision of becoming a leading center of academic and research excellence in East Africa. It provides a platform for innovative ideas and collaborations that will drive sustainable development on the African continent. The conference offers an opportunity for the institution to showcase its research and academic capabilities and provide a space for industry

© Copyright KAFU 2023. Design & Development by ICTS