Higher Education reaps big from President Ruto’s State Visit to USA

Students and faculty from higher education institutions in Kenya stand to benefit in near future
from President William Ruto’s visit to the United States of America.

During his visit, President Ruto forged deals worth KES4.7 billion for programmes in basic and higher education.

An exchange programme similar to that initiated by Tom Mboya and former U.S president John
F Kennedy in the 1950s and 1960s has been reinvigorated.  

“As the United States and Kenya celebrate 60 years of bilateral relations, and recalling the positive and enduring impact of the Kennedy-era student airlift, the newly announced Kennedy-Mboya Partnerships support a new scholarship programme that promotes intellectual, academic, and innovative exchange,” a brief from the White House said.

In support of this programme, the US government pledged US$3.3 million (KES433 million). The money will see 60 undergraduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) travel to the US to study for a semester.

The US also pledged an additional US$500,000 (KES65 million) to foster partnerships between US universities and research institutions, and their Kenyan counterparts.

“Faculty and research collaboration are planned to bolster the programme, supported by Fulbright specialists to provide additional expertise,” added the White House brief.

The U.S will also work with Kenya (touted as the “Silicon Savannah”) to establish EDTECH Africa, a collaboration that also brings together Microsoft, Mastercard ’s Center for Inclusive Growth, Howard University, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse College.

Microsoft announced plans to put in US$500,000 (Sh65 million) to support Kenyan students at the Microsoft Africa Research Institute in Nairobi. A partnership between Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S and Kenyan universities also received KES 111 million from USAID.

USAID will also provide KES853 million to support a partnership between Edison State Community College in Ohio, and a Kenyan institution, which will see strengthening of 40 Kenyan technical vocational education and training institutions in information and communications technology (ICT) and manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and textiles.

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