Seychelles Strengthens Ties with Edgerton University, Kenya, to Boost Agricultural Education and Innovation

In a significant stride to advancing and improving agricultural education and innovation, Seychelles will forge a collaborative partnership with Edgerton University in Kenya to transform the Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH) to bring the right skills and competencies in the agricultural sector.

The Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change, and Environment, Mr. Flavien Joubert, accompanied by the Principal Secretary for Environment Mr Denis Matatiken, met the Vice Chancellor Prof. Isaac O. Kibwage and senior staff from various faculties at the Edgerton University on Tuesday the 27 of February on the sideline of the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) taking place in Nairobi.

The aim of the visit was to follow up on previous engagement made between the Ministry and the University to develop the skills of academic achievers and technicians from SIAH in diverse fields such as animal science, veterinary science, entomology, plant sciences, and crop studies.

Group Photo: Minister Flavien Joubert, Principal Secretary for the Environment Department and members from the Egerton University

Discussions were centered on three levels of engagement. Firstly, the possibility of engaging Edgerton University in the management of the institute, emulating the model that exists between CINEC and Seychelles Maritime Academy. Secondly, working with the university to transform the curriculum process into a preparatory or foundational step for further education at the university. Thirdly, the discussions centered on recruiting new individuals with the right capacity to bolster teaching programs. This could be based on in person delivery or lectures through remote means.

Discussions with Edgerton University started in 2022 following the visit of the then Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to Seychelles. Discussion in the past two years has led to the development of a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU has been shared with the University and is being reviewed by the Kenyan’ Attorney General’s office.

Edgerton University has expressed a firm commitment to Seychelles’ vision, agreeing to sign the MOU promptly, once they get approval from the office of the Attorney General. To better assist the country with its need, the University has agreed to send a team on a fact finding mission at the invitation of the Seychelles Government

The University will also make available 10 places for teaching staff and students to pursue diplomas and higher level courses in 2024, reinforcing the practical aspects of this collaboration. Seychelles will attempt to send a nucleus of students through government scholarship schemes before September.

The University has also expressed the desire to customize training at certificate level to build a robust foundation for agricultural education. Other short-term trainings such as cheese and yoghurt manufacturing, agro food processing, which are already being delivered to students and small entrepreneurs in Kenya will further be explored together with the relevant structures in Seychelles.

During the visit, the Minister also had the opportunity to visit various facilities at the Faculty of Agriculture and interact with the trainers. The minister expressed his satisfaction with the overall good quality of teaching, and shared his conviction that Seychellois students would do well at the university.

It is hoped that the Seychelles-Edgerton University collaboration will mark a promising chapter in the pursuit of excellence in agricultural education and innovation. Concluding a formal arrangement with regional university for capacity enhancement and the creation of opportunities for students at SIAH by mid-2024 is a major target on the action plan that the Board of the SIAH is implementing. Once concluded it should enable SIAH to rapidly transform itself into an institution that can respond fully to the capacity needs of the sector.

Minister Joubert meeting with the Vice Chancellor of Egerton University Prof. Isaac O. Kibwage.
Minister Joubert meeting with the Vice Chancellor of Egerton University Prof. Isaac O. Kibwage.
Tour of the Institution
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