Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST) conquers again by emerging winners second time in a row at the 17th Enactus Kenya Expo. The entrepreneurial atmosphere was set at Pride Inn Hotel Westlands Nairobi where the annual Enactus Kenya National expo took place on 14th of June 2019.
Various Universities took to the stage to showcase their Smart solution projects for better lives in accordance to this year’s theme dubbed “Tech and smart solutions for challenges facing Kenya” where the defending champs JOOUST emerged winners by trouncing 13 other Universities from both private and public universities with their project
Project Hyatech that involved working with over 250 people with disability to make briquettes for sale and use gas derived from water hyacinth as alternative fuel. The products were partly marketed through a chatbot app.
The event was graced by United States Ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Kyle McCarter and other various Public and Private sector representatives including Giza Systems, Syngenta, Centum, PMG and many others.
The guest of honor, Ambassador McCarter in his speech stated that success of African continent depends on young people, he emphasized on the need to tap on Kenya’s youthful population as a demographic dividend. “Youth are Kenya`s ultimate capital. They should be empowered to drive the country’s development and make it attractive as an investment destination,” he said.
The competition was set in three leagues where the winners of each league stages proceeded to the final round of the competition. Moi University west Campus, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology and Moi University Main Campus emerged winners of League 1, 2 and 3 respectively.
During this stages Students were able to showcase various smart innovations that they had been working tirelessly on for the past three months and the judges were impressed by efforts shown by the participants including the intensive research presented. The participants showcased innovations from various fields such as education, agribusiness, housing, energy, waste management, mining, voter management and many other.
Enactus Kenya has facilitated skills development for over 4,500 undergraduate students through experiential learning. This has been achieved through community development projects, training and annual national and international competitions organized by Enactus Kenya for the last 16 years. Enactus’ mission is to create a partnership between business and higher education and equip students with innovative ideas that attract investment through community projects, knowledge sharing and competitions.
“With 34 University teams, Enactus Kenya has revamped its portfolio and overcome tremendous challenges to reach where it is today – a thriving community of entrepreneurial students who are self-driven to solving the challenges they see around them through business and innovations,” said Kinyua M’Mbijjewe, Enactus Kenya Board Chair.
This year’s Enactus Kenya program has been one of its kind because despite one university emerging as the overall winner, other universities did not lose out as they were able to network with the ENACTUS Kenya partners to the extent of receiving grants for their projects such as Multimedia University, Moi University West Campus and Egerton University who clinched a grant of $200 each from Ford Motor Company through a program called “adopt a university program”. “We will work with Enactus Kenya, other partners and stakeholders to encourage adaptation of smart solutions for social change” said Madam Najda Khan of GIZA systems.
As stated by Mr. James Shikwati, Enactus Kenya Director, Enactus Kenya plans to set up an incubation Centre that will be a place to nurture entrepreneurial skills and talents.
The participating teams received certificates, gift hampers and other goodies. JOOUST team will for the second time represent Kenya in the International Stage, ENACTUS world cup on 9th to 11th October in Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, USA.