USIU-Africa has won a competitive grant to upscale its training in agri-business. Using an inventive model dubbed The Metro-Agribusiness Living Lab, the University will combine experiential agri-business training with action research to determine factors that impact most on youth training. Beginning this month, the 24-month project will target 300 young people from 24 counties in Kenya, and have a strong focus on gender inclusivity, sustainable agri-business and ethical behaviour, given that the majority of those engaged in agriculture are aged between 50 and 65 years, and practice unsustainable subsistence farming.

Funded by the International Development Research Center (IDRC), the project exposes participants to cutting edge agri-business practices, provides business coaching and connects participants to financial sources. The project head Prof. Francis Wambalaba (Professor of Economics) described the program as “…the most comprehensive measure to close loopholes experienced by other entrepreneurial trainings.” He expressed optimism that the project will in addition to impacting 300 youths directly, will also affect an additional 15,000 through network marketing, indirect employment and access to over KES 25 million in business funding.

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Ms. Silpah Anyango Owich receives her Doctor of Business Administration degree from the Chair of the University Council Dr. Lola Odubekun during the 40th Commencement Ceremony held on Saturday, September 29, 2018 at the Graduation Yard. 1316 graduands were awarded degrees offered by 23 programs at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Looking on is Associate Professor of Strategic Management Dr. Paul Katuse (left) and Assistant Professor of Management Dr. James Ngari (Second right). PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Taigu Muchiri & Dan Muchai

Vice-Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza led the University in marking USIU-Africa’s 40th Commencement Ceremony last Saturday, September 29, where 1316 graduands were conferred with doctoral, graduate and undergraduate degrees.

While congratulating the graduating class, the guest of honor Prof. Collette Suda (Chief Administrative and Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research, Ministry of Education) applauded the University for maintaining high standards in providing quality education to produce skilled and competent graduates.

She noted with appreciation the role played by the Placement and Career Services Department in preparing the graduands for the job market, lauding USIU-Africa’s pioneering role in ensuring students are also prepared and mentored on developing entrepreneurial skills that will enable them create jobs upon graduation.

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Attendees get their groove on at the Graduation Dinner hosted by the Student Council in honor of the graduating Class of 2018 on Thursday, September 27 at Radisson Blue Hotel, Nairobi. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Antonio Longangi

The graduating Class of 2018 was hosted by the Student Council on Thursday, September 27 at Radisson Blu Hotel, Upperhill, as part of the Commencement 2018 exercises.

Themed “Casino Royal” the dinner brought together over 300 graduands and alumni, as well as members of staff and faculty to interact and reminisce on their various academic journeys.

The Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, congratulated the graduating class reminding them of the history they were making: “USIU-Africa will be celebrating 40 years since the first commencement ceremony, and 50 years since the university was established,” he said. He went on to challenge the graduating class to “...bring in new and creative solutions to challenges they will face, and have been prepared for.”

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Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic & Student Affairs Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono delivers her address during the DVC-ASA’s Convocation on Wednesday, October 3,at the auditorium. PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Ernest Anguru

On Wednesday, October 3 the Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic and Student Affairs Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono addressed the university community on the state of academic and student affairs, during the second annual DVC-ASA Convocation at the auditorium.

Speaking to a gathering of staff, faculty and students, Prof. Rono highlighted the key initiatives, activities, achievements, and challenges from the previous academic year, and set out the 2018-19 Academic Year priorities in her division.

Following the launch of the four new academic programs during the 2017-18 academic year, she announced the development of 2 programs at graduate and one at undergraduate level in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; two undergraduate programs in the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; two programs at undergraduate and one at graduate level in the Chandaria School of Business, and finally two programs at undergraduate and one at doctoral level in the School of Science and Technology.

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Members of staff clean a classroom block verandah during the annual Freida Brown Day on Friday, September 21 at Ngumunyu Primary School located in the Korogosho informal settlement in Nairobi.PHOTO:ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Diana Meso

On Friday, September 21, the University celebrated the annual Freida Brown Day at Ngunyumu Primary School in Korogocho - one of Nairobi’s informal settlements. The event brought together over 300 staff, students, faculty and friends of USIU-Africa to give back to the community, in line with the University’s mission; community service and development.

Founded in 1986, Ngunyumu Primary School, now hosts a population of 815 students and a teaching staff of 14, in dire need of additional facilities to support teaching and learning. 

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International Relations Freshman Ms. Maureen Njuguna refutes her opponent’s point during an Inter-Club Debate held on Wednesday, October 3 at the training restaurant in the Freida Brown Student Center. Listening intently are members of various clubs including officials of the Public Speaking Club which organized the event. PHOTO:DAN MUCHAI

By Sharon Wairimu

USIU-Africa’s Public Speaking Club achieved moderately remarkable success, when they competed at the Scholars Festival held at Kenyatta University from September 28-29. The festival was organized by the Kenya National Debate Council to evaluate how the youth and the private and public sectors can foster the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The festival, which featured debates, public speaking contests and a quiz challenge, attracted representatives from approximately twenty universities from Kenya and one from Uganda.

By Veronica Wanyee & Antonio Longangi

Under the supervision of the Counseling Center, the Peer Educators and Counselors Club (PECC) concluded its annual Peer Counseling Training on Saturday, September 22 at the Freida Brown Student Center.

The training held from September 14, covered the basics of peer education and counseling aiming at introducing students to peer education and counseling as an international standard of psychosocial support within an organization.

By Dan Muchai

USIU-Africa together with two other firms, has won a bid to train 34000 youths on a 10-day course on positive behaviour and employability, over a period of three years. The Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYEOP) is funded by the International Development Association (IDA) through the Ministry of Public Service Youth and Gender Affairs. Participants will address the challenges experienced by the youth in seeking employment opportunities.

The training is targeted at young people living in 6 counties in Kenya namely; Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kitui, Nyandarua and Nakuru, and who are aged between 16 and 29 years of age. They must also have only completed their high school education, be without jobs and have experienced extended spells of unemployment or who are currently working in vulnerable jobs.

­While signing the contract, the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, lamented the challenges experienced by young people in seeking employment, observing that the 15 to 35 age group is rapidly converting to adult population having increased from 62.7% in 1979 to 66.6% in 2009. He therefore hailed the program as a game changer in improving the livelihoods of the youth and improving Kenya’s economic growth.

Prof. Zeleza further commended USIU-Africa for building on its long history of delivering soft skills training to the youth, having been the only University that won the bid to offer the program.

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Prof. Nancy Marlin (Professor of Psychology and Provost Emerita, San Diego State University) meets with Doctor of Business Administration students at the Research Training Room in the Incubation and Innovation Center on September 18, 2018, as part of the on-campus visit of the WSCUC reaffirmation of re-accreditation process. This is our first re-accreditation since we received accreditation as an independent institution in 2008. Looking on are Associate Professor of Accounting Dr. George Achoki (second left) and Associate Professor of Strategic Management Dr. Paul Katuse (third left). PHOTO: ANTONIO LONGANGI

By Dan Muchai

The WASC Senior Colleges and Universities Commission reaffirmation of reaccreditation team to USIU-Africa ended their visit on Thursday, September 20, following an exit meeting with the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, senior university officials and leaders of the university’s re-accreditation preparatory process.

The team was on campus from September 18-20, to assess the vericity of documents submitted as part of the university’s reaffirmation of accreditation process.

While here they met with all constituencies including governing bodies, adminstrative officials, faculty, staff, students and alumni in order to receive direct feedback along the lines of inquiry they had earlier indicated.

By Ernest Anguru

On Friday, September 21, 2018 USIU-Africa was among the top ten overall winners of the 2018 Employer of the Year Award, hosted by Federation of Kenya employers at Radisson Blu.

This award means that as USIU-Africa we are geared towards a demystified reward and remuneration process, flexible working environment, making the work place a new home for all and adoption of strategic HR dashboards and metric measurements. This reward is also a clear indication of our quest and commitment to academic excellence, operational excellence and service excellence in pursuit of an education that takes our students places. 

The Employer of the Year Awards (EYA) is an initiative by the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) that is geared towards promoting and encouraging best practices in Corporate Performance, People Management and Industrial Relations practices amongst employers in Kenya. This is in a bid to raise and sustain productivity, enterprise performance and responsibility.