BY AMOS KEMBOI Saturday May 28, 2016: A THREE-DAY Second International Maasai Mara University Conference which brought together hundreds of academicians and post-graduate students from across the world for innovation and information sharing downed its curtains Friday at the varsity’s main campus in Narok town.
As a world-class university, Maasai Mara is on course to being an epitome of academic excellence, research and innovation by upholding research as an excellent tool in identifying societal problems and providing relevant concrete solutions as well as making notable contributions in policy making within and beyond Kenya.
In respect to its research policy, the higher institution of learning conducted its First International Conference on 11th -14th Nov, 2014.
This year’s conference whose theme was; Innovation, Tourism and Entrepreneurship For Sustainable Development was geared towards improving tourism and business sectors.
While speaking to Narok Newspaper Edition the varsity Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic, Research and Student Affairs (DVC ARSA) Prof. Misia Kadenyi said she is confident of the university continued research and innovation both locally and globally.
The conferences organizing committee is chaired by Dr. Kenneth Odhiambo whereas Prof. Tanui was in charge of the organizational abstracts.
Dr. Onyiko acts as head secretariat and financed is headed by Dr. Meitamei. Mr. Nooseli is the editorial head while Mrs Faith Njeru presides over hospitality matters. Mr. Kuria acts as the chief committee security.
“I had a very able team led by Dr. Ken Odhiambo. And that team, I can say were very very resilient. I admire that team; they worked day and night in sections. As far as I am concerned, we did put a lot of efforts in realizing the conference. A lot of effort!” Prof. Kadenyi told Narok Newspaper Edition at close of the conference.
The conference was fully funded by the University besides the participation fee paid by the participants. “Funding for the conference was okay. The University was able to give us some money. The University actually facilitated all the things that you saw, for example the procurement of banners among other things.” explained Prof. Kadenyi.
The Conference Committee Chair and Senior Lecturer Dr. Kenneth Odhiambo also seconded the DVC saying that the committee’s expectation was to have researchers and stakeholders present their papers and get questions and input from colleagues in relevant fields.
The academicians encompassed professors and doctors. Student’s participants were in categories of masters and those undertaking Phd with local participants paying Ksh 6,500 for East Africans and Ksh 10,000 for those outside the East African Community bloc. Students paid Ksh 3500 as participation fees.
“We were privileged to have our able Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mary Walingo to launch this International Conference on Wednesday morning that marking the first day of the event. The conference was meant to enable intellectual interaction between academicians and research students,” said Dr. Kenneth.
The conference began on a high note with the Keynote Speaker Prof. Reuben Marwanga, Chair, Kenya National Innovation Agency, giving exceptional words of wisdom. Prof. Vincent Maurice Omollo instilled the knowledge of patenting to partakers during the second day of the conference.
Most of the participants from other universities applauded the orderliness and professionalism exhibited by MMU in advertising its conferences, inviting keynote speakers, good welcoming, proper timing of presentations, as well as being the sole university that awards certificates to presenters with the title of presented paper highlighted in the certificates.
The conference participants were also fortunate enough to experience the flora and fauna of the great Maasai Mara Game Reserve at a very low subsidized cost on Friday, during the last day of the conference.
All the research papers that were presented during the conference will be published by the Kenya National Academy of Sciences while those with best recommendations shared with policy makers.
“The Kenya National Academy of Sciences has offered to publish our papers, of course after going through rigorous peer review with papers that have very good recommendations being shared with policy makers in the country”, said Prof. Kadenyi.
Prof. Kadenyi termed the conference as success and great improvement compared to the previous.
The DVC ARSA informed Narok Newspaper Edition that the next conference will be hosted by the Faculty of Science which is headed by Prof. Oyaro Nathan.