The Incubation and Innovation Center (I2 C) provides entrepreneurship training, mentoring, linkages, and work space for student and alumni-run ventures.

This week’s training dwelt on on two key topics; Using ICT in Business, and Social Media Marketing, taught by Mr. Max Musau and Mr. Klinton Wodomal respectively.

Participants were able to learn the importance of creating value for their business, understanding business processes before implementing ICT techniques, and how to value the customer’s first impression of a business.

Participants in the 12-month incubation program engage in weekly coaching, monthly mentoring by alumni, targeted training using a brand-new curriculum (which incorporates more client surveys, product testing, and design thinking), guest speakers, visiting entrepreneurs in residence, networking sessions, investor pitches , hosted entrepreneurship conferences, expos, and field trips.

The program is divided into three phases, in which Phase II emphasize more coaching, while Phase III emphasizes more mentorship and investor pitches. The Center, which can host upto 30 business at a time, also offers full use of office space with a new lock system to regulate people flows, conference rooms to host client meetings, and linkages to industry.

On a related matter, the Incubation and Innovation Center has just announced a new call for applications for the second cohort of incubatees for the Spring 2018 semester.

Those interested are requested to get in touch with the Center’s director. Dr. Scott Bellows at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or by filling in the application form at https:// www.surveymonkey.com/r/3BPYVML
Mr. Payne Omari (Information Systems and Technology Junior) emerged winner of an International Relations Symposium hosted by Riara University as part of their Aspiring Innovator Inter-Varsity Competition, on Friday, February 23.

During the competition, teams were given 15 minutes each to make presentations based on the guiding theme of ’How technology can be used to spearhead international relations and diplomacy’. Mr. Omari’s presentation entitled ‘Cyberwarfare: The impact of technology on International Relations’,carried the day ahead of Strathmore University.

The presentation offered a multidisciplinary approach to the subject matter, where both Information Technology and International Relations approaches were leveraged to draw an understanding towards one of the least understood and diplomatically problematic subject of cyber war.

Given the rapid and expansive development of information and communication technologies, their use on social media platforms for disinformation campaigns, have prompted governmental concern in Washington D.C., London and recently in Barcelona.

Mr. Omari’s drew attention to how social media can be potentially “weaponized, resulting in an environment of permanent unrest and conflict within victim states”.

Other key highlights from his presentation included the reported instances of the Ukranian electric power outage, Stuxnet (a computer virus designed to attack Iran’s nuclear plants’ electromechanical processes), and and the Distributed Denial of Service(DDOS) attacks in Estonia.

Since most countries’ infrastructure was becoming ever more dependent on computer systems than ever before, they were thus more vulnerable to attack.

Mr. Omari’s presentation concluded by urging more robust regulation and vigilance, so as to address such emerging cyberspace issues as Internet freedom, internet governance, innovation, economic growth and other cyber security issues as militarization of the internet.  

Following his win, the IST major plans on splitting his time between using such platforms to emphasize the vulnerabilities existing in national cyber security infrastructure, and developing a voting system powered by blockchain technology.
The Office of Alumni Relations hosted over 400 alumni from various classes for a barbeque themed The Past, The Present and The Future held on February 24, on the lawn behind the library. Alumni from as far back as the Class of 1993, took time to reacquaint themselves with a campus that is rapidly changing both in physical and academic infrastructure.

While welcoming the alumni community back on campus, University Advancement Director Mr. James Ogolla emphasized the need for his audience to remain engaged with the University. This point was picked up by the Vice Chancellor Prof. Paul Zeleza, who detailed the university’s development plans, and urged the gathered alumni to participate in campus activities, and remain “torchbearers and ambassadors for their alma mater.”

Dr. Jacob Ogola (DBA ’16) and Ms. Damaris Ndegwa-Mwai (IBA ’13) both shared how USIU-Africa’s financial aid had made a difference in their lives .Ms. Ndegwa Mwai who is currently a Procurement and Logistics Specialist for USAID/DFID’s Agile and Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) Project narrated how USIU-Africa’s Vice Chancellor’s Grant saw her through a time of deep personal loss. Dr. Ogolla’s shared his experience as a transfer student from Moi University and a recipient of the Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Scholarship. His call to fellow alumni to make financial aid sustainable was echoed by Alumni Association Chairperson Ms. Dorothy Sagwe, who urged alumni to come back to their alma mater and build their university.

The Office of Alumni Relations also announced the beginning of ticket sales for the Annual Alumni Fundraising Dinner scheduled for June 23, where a KES 500 million Alumni Endowment Fund will be launched. The Fund’s purpose will be to provide opportunities for promising but financial disadvantaged students to pursue a world-class education at USIUAfrica.

The Office of Financial Aid has scheduled for a meeting of all students interested in applying for external scholarships for their graduate studies. The meeting will begin at 9.30am on Friday, March 2 in the auditorium, and conclude by 1pm.

Alumnus Douglas Owino (Founder of Scholarship Academy – Africa), Rhodes 2018 Scholar and International Relations alumna (Class of 2017) Ms. Ruth Nyakeriaro, as well as a member of the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) are all scheduled to provide teams of acing the scholarship application process.

All beneficiaries of scholarship and other forms of financial aid are required to attend.

The MGT4020 Organizations and Organizational Behavior class marked the launch of their for-profit organization named ‘Campus Connect’ on Wednesday, February 7.
Campus Connect, which will operate from the Incubation and Innovation Center of the 3rd floor of the Freida Brown Student Center, intends to provide the USIU-Africa community with access to a wide range of products that members of the class perceive the university community requires.
The products range between on-campus events, beauty products and a convenience store, all of which of which try to ensure the customer’s convenience by making the products and services available, as and when they are needed.
The aim of the class project is to provide students with a practical feel of launching an organization and how various organization developmental stages require different management and leadership styles.
Campus Connect will operate throughout the semester, with possible extension of organizational life dependant on performance.
On Friday, February 16, 488 students, 35 teachers and 10 parents from six secondary schools, converged on campus for the annual Admission Open Day organized by the Office of Admissions.
The annual event provides guest schools with a showcase of learning opportunities provided by the University through its programs, facilities, and services.
Presentations provided insight into academic and extra-curricular programs, the experiences of current students, and the success of alumni in different industries.
DVC - Academic and Student Affairs Amb. Prof. Ruthie Rono provided a background of the university and unique facts about the university, pointing out the importance of interacting with universities before completing high school, as it enabled each student to choose their educational pursuit from an informed position.
Class of 2013 alumnus, co-founder and Director at Hifadhi Africa Mr. Collins Nakedi, delivered a keynote address on his inspiring journey to and through USIU-Africa, that equipped him for his entrepreneurial adventures.
Mr. Nakedi, who is a Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Network’s Mandela Washington Fellowship Fellow, co-founded Hifadhi Africa Organization (HAO) to promote access to water, quality education, health care, and youth mentorship, particularly among underserved pastoralist and slum dweller communities.
Dr. Eliab Some (Assistant Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics) represented the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Dr. Michael Kirubi (Associate Professor of Business Administration and Management) represented Chandaria School of Business, Dr. Gerald Chege (Information Systems & Techology/Applied Computer Technology/Maths Program Director) represented the School of Science and Technology, and finally Dr. Fatma Ali (International Relations Program Director) represented the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The University has contracted KPMG Advisory Services Ltd to carry out a review of USIU-Africa’s Performance Management System.
This is in line with the university’s objective of promoting a performance driven culture of excellence, and in particular, the implementation of effective performance management strategies.
The review, which is expected to take 9 weeks, will involve one-on-one interviews whereby various members of staff and faculty will share their views on challenges experienced with the current performance management system, as well as what would be the expectations of a new system, with the KPMG team.
The project will be overseen by the Chief Manager - Human Resources Mr. Yusuf Saleh.
USIU-Africa students of Chinese language in conjunction with the Chinese Club ushered in the Chinese New Year also known as the Spring Festival with pomp and color on Thursday, February 15, 2018.
The Spring Festival is a massive annual event held in China and in Chinese communities around the world characterized by happy gatherings and close family interaction.  Since it is based off the lunar calender, the dates tend to shift from year to year. 
This time round, the Chinese bid farewell to the year of the Rooster and ushered in the Year of the Dog - the Chinese zodiac sign of the Dog is a symbol of intelligence and protection and is the 11th animal in 12 Chinese zodiac signs.
During the celebration, students of Chinese language and members of the university community were shown how to properly hold and eat with chopsticks through a chopstick competition of picking cereals and were awarded gift prizes thereafter. Club members also demonstrated how to apply opera make-up. Chinese operas continue to exist in 368 different forms - the best known being Beijing opera, which assumed its present form in the mid - nineteenth century, and has been extremely popular ever since.
There was also a display of paper-cutting- one of the most important types of Chinese folk art) Chinese calligraphy, Chinese cuisine (longevity noodles, dumplings, jiaozi, tofu, Chinese green tea, jasmine tea, iced tea, etc.)
The event also reeled in a few of the Chinese natives on campus, thus offering students of the Chinese language an opportunity to mingle and share some of their experiences.
The day before, our Chinese language students had been invited to celebrate the Spring Festival with their counterparts at Kenyatta University.
恭喜发财! Wishing you a Prosperous New Year!
Journalism faculty Dr. Dorothy Njoroge and Ms. Robi Koki Ochieng, hosted representatives of seven NGOs working in the area of domestic violence at a one-day workshop at the Frieda Brown Student Center on Tuesday, February 6.  The Centre for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), Men for Gender Equality Now (MEGEN), The Cradle, Gender Violence Recovery Centre (GVRC), Integrated Initiatives for Community Empowerment (IICEP) Kenya, Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) and Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) Organizations were selected based on their engagement in elimination of GBV in Kenya.
They came together to discuss trends in gender-based violence work in Kenya today and to assess gaps in advocacy work that would be the foundation for an advocacy training program to be offered by the two faculty through an Amplify Change grant. 
The Amplify Change Strengthening Grants support time-limited projects that seek to engage and contribute to bringing about change in one or more of the Sexual Reproductive Health Rights areas.  Domestic violence being one of the priority themes, this grant is expected to strengthen the advocacy capacity of the major organizations working to address the gender-based violence scourge in Kenya.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees Dr. Kevit Desai has been nominated by His Excellency the President Uhuru Kenyatta as Principal Secretary in charge of Technical and Vocational Training in the Ministry of Education.

In a letter to the Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Justin Muturi on Friday, February 9, the Head of Public Service Mr. Joseph Kinyua, requested the Speaker to submit Dr. Desai name for consideration by the National Assembly as required by Law.

If confirmed by Parliament, Dr. Desai expects to use his new position to enable the government to become responsive to the changing needs of vocational training, as well as lead a legislative agenda that will cement competency-based training.

Pointing at his 20 years of involvement in crafting policy around vocation and technical training, Dr. Desai hoped that his new posting will finally give him the opportunity to develop a structure and mechanism that will establish the standards, curriculum and tools to accelerate integrated learning.

Dr. Desai also felt his history of participation in governance of public, private and not-for-profit organizations, placed him at the fulcrum of industry and academia, where he can drive an agenda of work-based training, academia-industry linkages and government policy.

Skill training, education and research are key requisites to have gainful employment and promotion of entrepreneurship,” said Dr. Desai, adding that he hoped that his new position will play a key role in achieving Kenya’s national development goals as set out in Vision 2030, and the Kenyan President’s four main goals of food security, affordable healthcare, affordable housing and manufacturing.

Dr. Desai sought to dispel the myth that vocational training was inferior to higher education. “I would like to see vocation training and university education placed on an equal footing, as each addresses separate career paths based on one’s talents,” he added.

Dr. Desai holds a Ph.D. in Robotics Systems Engineering, and is the owner and founder of Centurion Systems Limited, and has also founded and chairs Linking Industry with Academia (LIWA).

Dr. Kevit Desai is also the Chairman of the Permanent Working Group on Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) in Kenya - an initiative that is promoting continuous communication, a common agenda and cross sector coordination throughout different stakeholder networks.