County governments have been challenged to partner with universities in undertaking research to spur economic growth in their areas.
The challenge was made Saturday by Principal Secretary in the State Department of Higher Education Science and Technology Prof. Colleta Suda at Tom Mboya University College in Homa Bay town.
She said county governments should support universities in conducting research on agriculture, tourism and livestock production.
Prof. Suda said research should be geared towards the growth of the counties and asked universities to seek partnerships with other research firms.
The PS, who was accompanied by the county governor Cyprian Awiti, said this during the inauguration of Prof. Charles Omondi Ocholla as the college principal which coincided with the launch of a master plan and strategic plan 2018-2023 at the institution.
She reiterated that Homa Bay County was endowed with natural resources which could be harnessed to spur the growth of the county besides improving the livelihood of the community.
At the same time, Suda cited funding of public universities by the exchequer as a big challenge and called on such learning institutions to think of other ways of mobilizing resources to finance their activities instead of relying on the national government.
She appealed to the management of universities to be accountable and transparent in managing their resources so that they did not compromise the integrity of such learning institutions.
She further challenged Homa Bay town residents to create a conducive environment for the students and shun destruction of properties so as to attract more investors into the town.
Tom Mboya University is strategically placed and will spur the growth of Homa Bay town if the locals will maintain peace and tranquility,Suda said.
The Don called on the county government to partner with the university in building hostels to accommodate the overwhelming enrollment of students.
She regretted that many public universities were facing shortage of hostels to accommodate their students within the institutions hence county governments and other investors should build affordable hostels for students as a way of creating an enabling environment for academic progress of the learners.
On his part, governor Awiti promised to work closely with the management of the college, saying it was going to improve the status of the town and its residents.
Awiti called on the PS to consider giving the college a charter since it had met 70 per cent of the requirements, adding that the college was his brain child which he must nurture into maturity
Others who graced the occasion included deputy governor Hamilton Orata and county executive committee members.
Principal Omondi promised to improve the status of the institution into a higher level, saying the current enrolment stands at 1,600 students.
Source: Kenya News Agency