Kenya: promising partnerships for the future

On 4th June last, the Embassy of France in Kenya, in partnership with Campus France, organised Kenya in Paris day at the Campus France facilities.

This event sought to address the intersecting interests of French players: universities and companies for this country. The day was part of the Franco-Kenyan roadmap for university partnerships, innovation, research and professional training signed by President Macron during his visit to Kenya on the 13th and 14th March 2019, the first visit by a French President since independence in 1963.

The Vice-President for International Relations at the University Paris-Sud, Prof. Sandrine Lacombe and the Director for International Relations at Centrale Supélec, Marc Zolver, participated in the event. These two establishments are in effect involved in two partnerships subsidised by the French government.

One is an FSPI (MEAE- Solidarity Fund for Innovation) subsidy of 436,000 euros allocated to the IUT of Cachan for implementing professional licenses in electrical engineering and mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Nairobi (TUK) and the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM). The other is an AFD subsidy of 120,000 euros allocated to Centrale Supélec for a pre-feasibility study for a sciences and engineering complex at the University of Nairobi.

At the request of Campus France, and to promote good practices, Sandrine Lacombe explained the Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility project for Kenya, registered in February 2019. As a reminder, University Paris Sud had obtained 800,000 euros in 2018 thanks to five Erasmus+ International Credits Mobility (MIC) with Algeria, Cambodia, Lebanon, the Ukraine and Palestine.

Kenya is an economic driving force for East Africa. In 2017, the country boasted some 600,000 students, spread over 70 public and private institutions of higher learning. In 2016, 13,981 Kenyans studied abroad, of whom only 168 were in France in 2017-2018 (source: Campus France), whereas French is the first foreign language taught at secondary and university levels. The Kenyan government dedicates 30% of its budget to education and has set itself the goal of training at least 10,000 engineers, 15,000 doctors and 30,000 technicians by 2030.

Promising partnerships to look forward to!