Three local universities are set to receive Sh1.8 billion funding from the World Bank for specialised research in math, science and technology, agriculture and health areas.
The grant is part of Sh14 billion International Development Association (IDA) support approved last year for the Eastern and Southern Africa Higher Education Centres of Excellence (ACE II).
Other countries set to benefit from the initiative are Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The project will strengthen 24 competitively-selected ACEs in five clusters of regional priorities—industry, agriculture, health, education and applied statistics.
Moi University, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and technology and Egerton University are the select few to benefit from project in the financing.
Speaking at the programme launch yesterday, World Bank vice president in charge of human development Keith Hansen said the project is effective in the use of region’s resources and bridge skill gaps.
“Coordinated investment with country specific specialisation can help the region develop a broad-based science and technology ecosystem, covering many critical disciplines as well as creating economies of scale in producing graduates and innovations,” he said.
Collectively, the 24 ACE aims to enrol over 3, 000 graduate students in fields important for the region’s development.
Of them more than 700 will be PhD while over 1,000 will be female students.
The centres are expected to publish 1,500 journal articles, conduct 300 research collaborations with private sector and other academic institutions both, within and outside the region.
They are expected to generate over Sh3 billion in external revenues.
Education Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i said the project is step in the right direction as it would boost research in the country.