University Scholars have been challenged to distribute knowledge. Renowned philanthropist and business Dr. Manu Chandaria challenged University of Nairobi dons to be actively sharing their research findings with Kenyans to help in the creation of wealth.
Dr. Chandaria was speaking during the Elimika Book Launch at the Old Council Chambers on December 10, 2019. He was among the panel of discussants who shared their ideas on the multidisciplinary book, “Knowledge for Wealth Creation: A Kenyan perspective”, a book that has been edited by among others, Prof. Judith Bahemuka, Chair, UNESCO/ UNITWIN based the University of Nairobi.
According to the billionaire industrialist, knowledge is very key in wealth creation. He stated that if the knowledge generated in the Universities could be shared with the members of the public, then the public would be far ahead in generating wealth, enough wealth for themselves and for their neighbours. “In making wealth you need three things: honesty, hard work and humility. We need enough wealth not just for ourselves, but for our neighbours too,” he said. Dr. Chandaria, who is also the Chancellor, USIU-Africa. On unemployment, scholars were challenged to come up with solutions to help in job creation for millions of young people who are graduating from the Universities. Dr. Chandaria pointed out that arts could be a good avenue that could help in creating jobs hence the reason he sponsored Chandaria Centre of Performing Arts based at the University of Nairobi Towers.
To the men and women who would be interested in pursuing entrepreneurship, Manu Chandaria urged them to dream big and be tenacious. “We started with 40 employees. We had the option of going out and looking for jobs. With an engineering degree, I had a high chance of being employed and I would take good care of my family, but I opted to go into business because it is only through business, that you can offer jobs and reduce unemployment. We now have over 3,000 employees. Have dreams that you want to be somebody in the future,” he said.
Former Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court, Dr. Willy Mutunga, called upon Kenyans to embrace inclusion, cohesion among the communities living in Kenya. He also challenged the political leaders to talk about issues, handle the challenges facing Kenya and help the country deal with the everyday problems and not politics.
Maurice Makoloo, Regional Director, Ford Foundation, who was the main sponsor of the event, called on the scholars to realize the immense privilege that they have and use the privilege to speak about the things they truly care about. He urged Kenyans to be patient as the Constitution of Kenya 2010 is being implemented, especially devolution. “I have visited many parts of Kenya and I can assure you that devolution is working in this country, please be patient. We have trust issues as Kenyans, let’s avoid mistrust and harvest trust dividends.
University of Nairobi Deputy Vice Chancellor, Human Resource and Administration, Prof. Stephen Kiama, said that the book is a product of a strong partnership the University of Nairobi and Elimika and it provides insights how knowledge can be used to address the challenges that affect the society. He stated that research, knowledge and innovation can solve societal challenges. “Our mission is to provide quality university education and training and to embody the aspirations of the Kenyan people and the global community. The book aims to transform our society into stable society. Prof. Kiama was speaking on behalf of the UoN Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Mbeche.
The book is a multidisciplinary endeavor by scholars from various disciplines who tried to unpack creation of knowledge for the benefit of the society.