By JAMES KARIUKI
South Korea will spend Sh10 billion to set up Kenya’s first graduates-only information technology university on a 22-acre plot at Konza Technopolis, Machakos.
The institute, Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kenya Kaist), is modelled after the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Korea Kaist).
Kenya Kaist is set to admit its first batch of Masters and PhD students in three faculties —Mechanical, Electrical and ICT Engineering, Chemical Civil and Agriculture Engineering/Biotechnology, and Basic Science Education in 2021.
Visiting Kaist global president Sung-Chul Shin said the facility will train students on industry-specific courses enabling Kenya and the East African region to develop adequate manpower that will provide technological solutions locally.
“Kenya Kaist will be an action-oriented study centre for industry scientific research that uses technology to improve society,” he said when he delivered a public lecture at the University of Nairobi’s Taifa Hall.
Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA) chairman Reuben Mutiso said preparation for architectural designs of the institution and curriculum development had been commissioned.
KoTDA chief executive John Tanui said Kenya Kaist will help curb the brain-drain menace blamed on sending students to foreign universities for further training only for them to take up jobs abroad.
“Supply of highly skilled engineers does not match demand as most have left for greener pastures abroad. We need such to upgrade skills and equip Kenyans with new knowledge that meets both traditional and emerging areas of industrial and technical development,” said the CEO.
Mr Tanui said that infrastructure development was set for completion within the next 42 months which will see the building of headquarters and residential houses as well as water, electricity and sewer lines connected to the facility.
“Kenya is spending Sh40 billion to make Konza investor-ready as requested by global tech companies which plan to put up campuses to host research labs and manufacturing units.”