A Voyage to East Africa : Destination Kenya
One week long exploratory journey by HSE delegation to Kenya last week was a significant step forward for the better appreciation and understanding about one of the largest economic power house in East Africa.
One week long exploratory journey by HSE delegation to Kenya last week was a significant step forward for the better appreciation and understanding about one of the largest economic power house in East Africa. Kenya is one of the stable and growing economies in east Africa (more than 5% per year) with a population of more than 45 million. Kenya's various ethnic groups typically speak their mother tongues within their own communities. The two official languages, English and Kiswahili, are used in varying degrees of fluency for communication with other populations. English is widely spoken in commerce and schooling. Although Kenya is the biggest and most advanced economy in east and central Africa, and has an affluent urban minority, Kenya is East and Central Africa's hub for financial services. The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is ranked 4th in Africa in terms of market capitalization.
The visit was organized by the initiative of the Embassy of Kenya in Russian Federation and the present charge D’ Affaires Mr. Hillary Kyengo led the delegation to get the HSE teachers be introduced to the leading educational institutions of Kenya. The academic supervisor of the Population and Development Vladimir Kozlov (PhD) and Deputy Head of the Public Policy Department Sanjay Kumar Rajhans made the week long exploratory visit to the various universities in Nairobi and Kisumu with the local Sherpa namely Mr. Kephas Agure student of the Higher School of Economics (MA Population and Development) who worked tirelessly to make this visit a very productive and fulfilling one.
One the very first leg of the visit, the delegation headed to the Lake Victoria coastal city of Kisumu where at the Maseno University the Deputy Vice Rector (in charge of the education, research and innovation) Professor Joseph Chacha and the other deans of the Maseno University. HSE delegates did the power point presentation of the HSE and had at length discussion regarding the possible area of cooperation between HSE and Maseno University. They showed stronger interest of cooperation between faculty of education, the business and management faculty and the joint ground research work under the mentorship of HSE and Maseno scholars on the field of math, economics, public policy, population and development studies and international affairs.
The visit to Kisumu also included in the meeting with the Vice Rector of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology Prof. Benson Estambale who has been in charge with the international cooperation, innovation and research. The university leadership showed great interest of cooperation with the HSE in the form of the students exchange and the faculty exchange. The university has a special emphasis on the computer science and technology and healthcare management. There too the detailed power point presentation of the HSE was made. The university showed a great desire to send a good number of students each year for the semester in Moscow along with the short time visit of the HSE Professors for the mentorship of the TQM (Total Quality Management) of the learning process.
The highlight of the visit of the Kisumu was the visit to the United States President Barrack Obama’s ancestral house and the HSE delegation was met there by the Charge D’ Affaires of Kenya in the Russian Federation Mr. Hillary Kyengo. The grandmother of President Obama received the delegation of the HSE and was presented with the souvenirs of HSE. Mama Sara Obama (as she is fondly addressed among the native Kenyans) showed her great interest to visit Moscow. Mama Sara Obama runs an international non-profit organizations for the local little students for educational and health opportunities. The delegations assured Sara Obama for the possible dissemination of her work among the HSE fraternity and the possible help that might follow. The delegation was warmly greeted by the half – brother of President Obama, Mr. Malik Obama. The members delegates were introduced to the Senator Peter Anyang Nyong, who besides being the former minister of planning is himself a leading international scholar of the Political Science.
The last leg of the visit was in Nairobi where the delegates were received by the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor of the Nairobi University, the oldest and the most prestigious university in the East Africa. The hosts were presented with the souvenirs and the other promotional materials of the HSE by the delegates.
The general impression and the preliminary outcome of this visit to Kenya has brought very encouraging signs of growing cooperation between HSE and the leading universities of Kenya, one of the leading economies of the African continent. Besides with the series of contacts and acquaintances that delegates had during their visit, a strong ground work was done for the internship of HSE students in many private and inter- governmental institutions in Kenya including UN ones. It is to be noted that Kenya is the only country in the southern hemisphere that hosts the leading UN headquarters and the students of the Social sciences cutting across the disciplines can most certainly be benefitted from this opportunity. An entirely English speaking environment coupled with the huge flow of the leading professionals from all over the world has made Nairobi a new hub of social and economic dynamism across the East African social and economic space.
The other overarching impression has been a very positive attitude for the cooperation with Russian educational Institutions at the multiple layers including the joint academic research, short and long term joint courses, educational retreats and joint summer/winter school. What is interesting to observe in this context is the major interest for the Russian language and it is long overdue that in the leading university of Kenya there shall be a window of the Russian language, something that was strongly requested by the leaders of all the universities visited by the delegation. The other important thing that was underscored time and again is the desire by the university administration regarding the possible mentorship by the HSE to build up the different schools coupled with the short and regular visit by the leading scholars from the HSE.
The voyage to Africa has just started Amen !!!~