An overview of the
3rd International Interdisciplinary Conference (IIC3-2016)
The Inter-University Research Consortium idea was mooted in 2013 when Rev. Sr. Prof. Felicia Opara from the then Anambra State University (now Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University – COOU) was on sabbatical leave in University of Eldoret (UOE) at the School of Education. The partnership was originally between COOU and UOE. They actualized the partnership by organizing the 1st International Interdisciplinary Conference (IIC) in September 2013 held at UOE. The 2nd IIC was hosted by COOU in Igbarium in Nigeria in September 2015. The 3rd International Interdisciplinary Conference was held on 7-9th September 2016 at the UOE at the School of Education Complex.
On the 3rd IIC conference:
- The theme of the conference was “Innovative Research for Sustainable Development”
- There were approximately 250 participants in the 3-day event with representation from over 15 institutions within Kenya and from Nigeria and Uganda
- 210 papers were presented in 8 subthemes namely: Agriculture & Food Security; Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM); Environment & Natural Resources; Peace, Conflict Resolution & Governance; Quality Education & Lifelong Learning; Business, Agribusiness & Entrepreneurship, Health, Fitness & Nutrition and Cross-cutting topics.
- The partnering Institutions of the consortium that participated in the conference were; University of Eldoret and COOU (the founders), Kyambogo University, Uganda (joined in 2015) and a new entrant, Mt. Kenya University, Kenya. There were requests from other institutions to join the consortium e.g. Eldoret Polytechnic and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute. This issue of opening up the consortium to other institutions that conduct research but not Universities will be looked at by the Consortium Steering Committee and a decision made.
3 very powerful and resourceful key note addresses were delivered by:
- Prof. Eli Katunguka Rwakishaya – the Vice Chancellor, Kyambogo University on “Building Capacity in Research Innovation Management for Sustainable Development”
- Prof. Bitange Ndemo – Associate Professor at University of Nairobi and former PS Information on “Inclusive Innovation for Sustainable Development using ICTs”
- Rev. Sr. Prof. Felicia Opara – Associate Professor at CCOU on “The Twenty First Century Teacher: Key Driver of Sustainable Development in Africa”
- The closing ceremony was brief and precise with a plenary discussion on the shape and form the Consortium should take above just holding annual research conferences. The Director of Research & Innovation at UoE and Chair of the Local Organizing Committee, Prof. Linnet Gohole in her summary of the event emphasized the shift of the Consortium from conferences to actual conducting collaborative research amongst member institutions whose results can be presented in the annual conferences. Dr. Paschal Oguno of COOU speaking on behalf of the Consortium Committee acknowledged the well organized and well attended event and urged the next hosts to make it even better to uphold the international status the event is. The IIC3-2016 was officially closed by the Vice Chancellor of University of Eldoret, Prof. Teresa Akenga who thanked all the participants for attending the conference and challenged them to go a notch higher by conducting research that led to development of innovations that help combat the various challenges faced by the society.
- The 4th IIC will be held in 2017 and hosted by Kyambogo University, Uganda
- During the conference dinner, a new MoU was signed that enabled Mt. Kenya University to join the Inter-University Research Consortium. It is the new kid on the block. For any institution to join the consortium, they have to make an official request to the Vice Chancellors of the member institutions who then discuss and decide whether to accept of decline the request. Mt. Kenya University went through this process and their request was accepted and thus the signing of the MoU.
Generally the IIC3-2016 Conference was a great success and accolades go to the Local Organizing Committee led by Prof. Linnet Gohole, Director of Research & Innovation. Glory and honour go to God Almighty who proved He is Jehovah Jireh.
Prof. Linnet Gohole
Director, Research & Innovation - University of Eldoret