Home | Diaspora | Prof. Jerono Rotich Talks KUP-Diaspora University, KESSA & Amb. Githae

Prof. Jerono Rotich Talks KUP-Diaspora University, KESSA & Amb. Githae

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(Left) Amb. Robinson Githae and Prof. Jerono Rotich at KESSA Conference. (Left) Amb. Robinson Githae and Prof. Jerono Rotich at KESSA Conference.

Professor Jerono Rotich, one of the Kenya University Project (KUP) – Diaspora University founders, who just participated in the KESSA conferences says, “Kenya University project is a terrific opportunity to PAY BACK and to PAY FORWARD. I am very excited about the progress that KUP has made in such a short time, so please join us to build Diaspora University Town and our County.” On Amb Githae she answers, “Kenyans in Diaspora are fortunate to have one of the greatest Ambassadors, Dr. Githae. He is very devoted and dedicated to serving the Kenya Diaspora among all his other responsibilities.”

How was KESSA?

The 10th Annual KESSA Conference, that was held in Atlanta Georgia, was one of the greatest conference. On behalf of our leader Prof. Kefa Otiso, of Bowling Green Ohio, the leadership team, the planning committee; I would like to thank our keynote speakers, presenters and participants. We were honored to have the following keynote speakers and presenters; His Excellence Ambassador Robinson Githae, Kenyan Ambassador to the USA; Distinguished and prominent US-based Kenyan Legal Scholar, Prof. Makau Mutua; and the renowned scholar and researcher, Dr. F. George Njoroge. Prof., His Excellency Ambassador, Prof. George Imbanga Godia, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Kenya to UNESCO Paris who was schedule to speak was not able to attend, but his Colleague, Ambassador Githae presented his speech of his behalf.

KESSA was also thrilled to have a representative from one of our conference sponsor, Equity Bank and one of the MasterCard Foundation Scholar from Spellman College. Other sponsors of the conference were the Brookwood Capital Corporation, that has continued to sponsor graduate students to attend the conference. Other key participants included representatives from: the Zawadi Africa Education Fund Scholarship, the East African Airlift and the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP).

What goals did the scholars set for the year? 

KESSA is committed to bringing together scholars and researchers with interest in Kenya.  The Kenya Scholars and Studies Association (KESSA) is an independent nonprofit professional association established in the State of Ohio in the United States for the exclusive purpose of advancing scholarly, scientific, and research work on the Republic of Kenya. This year’s speakers and participants were drawn from all disciplines and persuasions and all parts of the world. We had the largest attendance in the overall participants, as well as graduate students and scholars from our Kenyan Universities.

What was the hottest discussion? Who went off script?

Some of the highlights of the program were; the Keynote speeches from Dr. Njoroge on “Commercialization and Promotion of Science and Technology in Africa”, Prof. Mutua on “The African State as Leviathan: Can Kenya Become a Nation; and the panel on  “The 2017 Kenyan Elections: Some Reflections.  The panelists for the final session were:  Prof. Shadrack Nasongo (Rhodes College), Prof. Makau Mutua (SUNY Buffalo), Prof. Mickie Koster (Texas University at Tyler), H.E Ambassador Robinson Githae, Prof. Theodora Ayot, and Prof. Eric Otenyo (Arizona State University). The hottest aspect of the discussion was the indisputably diverse assessments on the reflections of the elections and outcome.

As part of Kenya University Project KUP – Diaspora University what message did you give to other Scholars?

I had the opportunity to share the vision and mission of KUP with the KESSA Participants. I realized that many of the conference participants had not heard about KUP, therefore the conference presented KUP members who were in attendance to share more information.

What knowledge will you transfer to young Kenyans through KUP – Diaspora University?

Professionals and experts from diverse disciplines presented valuable insights, research and suggestions. The valuable information gained from the presentations and networks will be beneficial as we continue to develop KUP and all the related projects. It is my hope and desire that we can recruit some of the diverse talented scholars from KESSA and other Kenyan Diaspora organizations to collaborate with KUP and to serve in various capacities such as mentors, grant writers, program facilitators etc.   

Having met Ambassador Githae what are some of the things you talked to him of behalf of the Diaspora?

Kenyans in Diaspora are fortunate to have one of the greatest Ambassadors, Dr. Githae.  He is very devoted and dedicated to serving the Kenya Diaspora among all his other responsibilities.  We appreciate his support and the fact that he has never missed a KESSA Conference. He attended the KESSA conference for the entire three days (Thursday -Sunday) and he took   time to attend and participate in the presentations and discussions. We had an opportunity to talk current events going on in Kenya and about the role and impact of the Diaspora and its various organizations as an Influential Think Tank. We also talked about the way forward that include the Think Tank and reviving the Kenya Diaspora Conference In USA.

What would you tell a Scholar who has never attended KESSA on attending the next KESSA?

As Dr. Koisabba, South Carolina, put it in his interview, KESSA is a one stop place for Kenya Scholars and students. I first attended KESSA in 2009 and I have never missed a single conference since then. The presentations and the networking is invaluable and I would encourage anyone who has never attended to attend. You are missing out! so please join us in 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

What would you like to tell those not already part of KUP – Diaspora University Town?

Kenya University project is a terrific opportunity to PAY BACK and to PAY FORWARD.  I am very excited about the progress that KUP has made in such a short time, so please join us to build Diaspora University Town and our County.  I urge all those who are not familiar with KUP to visit the Website or call any of the project officials to learn about the program and how to join. It is not too late to join and participate in this noble project!

 

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