Ministry of Education State Department for University Education and Research Principal Secretary (PS), Amb. Simon Nabukwesi has commissioned the opening of Laboratories of the National Institute for Optics and Lasers (NIOL) at the Multimedia University of Kenya.
Speaking during the event at the Multimedia University, Nairobi Friday, Nabukwesi hailed the institution for being pioneers who have broken the barrier and set up an institute unlike any other in the region.
“I would like to sincerely thank the National Research Fund (NRF) for considering the Multimedia University proposal and funding these labs, my hope is that the institute will be a leading research hub for Kenya and the region,” he said.
Nabukwesi noted that the World is at the beginning of the 4th Industrial Revolution that is characterized by a knowledge economy and technological advancement.
“We are using laser technology to communicate and transmit data across the world. In the medical field, lasers are used to treat eyes, undertake non-invasive operations and even treat cancer,” said the PS.
He said that Research, Innovation and Technology are the key drivers of economic development and transformations in the world today.
“Through research and innovation, universities provide the foundations and impetus necessary for such transformations as they train graduates, who are not only ready for immediate absorption into a technologically oriented economy, but also grounded enough to be fully functional in an ever-changing work environment,” said the PS.
“This country has been a leader in the region in terms of education, manufacturing, and investment, so we must continue to uphold those standards,” he added.
Nabukwesi expressed optimism that the government will give more support for those institutions that demonstrate innovativeness, entrepreneurship and active linkages with industries and communities.
“Such universities will be given first priority in incentives by the government and bilateral partners, so that they can grow their particular niches and deepen their research capacity,” he said.
Multimedia University Vice Chancellor, Amb. Prof Festus Kaberia stated that the laboratories are a springboard that will bring a new era to the University.
“We are grateful for this day because the facility has made a mark in the landscape of Kenyan Universities,” he said.
At the same time, the Dean in the Faculty of Science and Technology at Multimedia University, Ms Citah Watanga, said that the facility is a response to current technological trends that will address a skill gap in the market.
“We have greatly increased the capacity of our school with a plan to develop more and more class programs,” she said.
Watanga emphasized the Institution’s gratitude to NRF for their generous fund that actualized their laboratories.
By Mike Mulinge