Accepted Paper:

Anchoring the next level of higher education in the silicon savannah: a case of the Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology  

Author:

Darius Ogutu (Ministry of Education, Kenya)

Paper long abstract:

The expansion and development of higher education in Kenya has had its fair share success stories and challenges. As demand grows for improved quality of research and training and the increase of opportunities availed by the changing trends in university education, institutions of higher learning in Kenya must adapt and adopt or risk being left behind in their post-colonial leanings. The time is ripe for specialized research institutions of higher education that offer cutting edge training for the workforce of a smart city and smart country. The progress attained by Korean research institutions makes a perfect platform for the partnership between the best of the Korean innovations for the upcoming African silicon savannah. In the age of artificial intelligence and other technological advancements, co-creation of ideas and establishment of a top notch institution, with matching curriculum and faculty is the stuff of dreams! This partnership is set to re-create the Asian excellence in the splendor of the African savannah.

The new research university will be the first of its kind in Kenya, underpinning its strategic importance to the country, and will provide leadership in higher education advancements. As an anchor tenant of the Konza Technopolis, the project will seek to unleash the success stories of the Asian tigers on the African savannah. This paper will focus on the proposed programmes and their expected impact on knowledge co-creation and research at the higher education level as well as expertise of the faculty and eventual graduates. This is an endeavor that is set to bear fruits and set a new trend in the Africa - Asia partnership in the bigger arena of decolonizing knowledge. A practical case of leapfrogging the technological and knowledge divide and changing the mindset on the reality of the possible! Leading the country towards the dictates of a knowledge economy with a skilled and highly specialized workforce of innovators and inventors, contributing to and impacting the nation's economic advancement. This paper will juxtapose the expectations of experts in the higher education sector in Kenya against the intentions of the Korean partners and experts and plot the making of a phenomenon.

Panel F38
Artificial intelligence and smart manufacturing in Africa [initiated by RWTH Aachen University, Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa, SA and the N. Mandela Institute of Technology, Tanzania]