Kenya PM Signs Co-op Agreement with FAMU
By Ophelia Robinson Black College Wire   

Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga signed a cooperation agreement with Florida A&M University to allow joint training and research projects, particularly in engineering and health sciences.

Kenya's Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology is interested in implementing training systems in these areas based on university models. The agreement, called a memorandum of understanding, was signed at a ceremonial event at the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building on FAMU's campus.

"Signing the memorandum of understanding will allow us to create a symbiotic relationship between institutions, which will facilitate [the] exchange [of] knowledge and personnel," Odinga said.

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The Famuan
Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga
Students also are appreciative of the collaboration. "This event will benefit me and the FAMU community by giving us, the students, a broader view of what is going on nationwide," said Jayne Thomas, 19, a sophomore and computer information systems students.

In the agreement is also the Green House Initiative, a program that strives to make a better, "greener" environment.

"I am an environmental health scientist and I'm excited that the prime minister took an interest in the Green House initiative,” said Tiffiani Onifade, director of environmental health sciences. “It is not possible to discuss a green initiative without talking about the impacts on public health."

Michael Thomas, a professor of agribusiness at FAMU, said that he was looking forward to the collaboration and research.

“I hope to make contact with Kenya's government and develop association with them, while working with the green initiative," Thomas said.

The prime minister talked about the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology and how collaborating with FAMU will make his vision for Kenya a successful one.

"My vision for Kenya is to make it a better environment for future generations, and, in order to achieve this goal, we need to empower our people through political education partnerships between FAMU and RIAT to develop an intellectual compatibility," Odinga said.

"By collaborating we will extend the expertise of FAMU through academic programs, facility and students," Ammons said.

Ammons added that the vision is to create a world-class model that will bring the facility and students from two institutions to work on issues that are relevant for Kenya, America and the world.

Ophelia Robinson writes for The Famuan , the student newspaper at Florida A&M University, which originally published this article.

Posted May. 07, 2011