The 9th Edition Africities Summit, International Exhibition of African Cities and Local Governments was held on 17th – 21st May 2022. The summit which is conducted after every three years was for the very first time held in an intermediary city – the lakeside city of Kisumu. This is the 9th summit after others being held in cities such as Abidjan, Johannesburg, Dakar, Marrakech and Nairobi.
The objective of the summit was to discuss tangible solutions for the challenges facing Africa and its intermediary cities. The summit was officially launched under the high patronage of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya. In his opening address, H.E. President Kenyatta called for the need to make African cities more sustainable as the continent is becoming increasingly urban. The President urged the delegates (including researchers & academia) to bring tangible, practical and sustainability to the challenges facing Africa’s urban areas.
The summit whose overall theme was “The Role of Intermediaries Cities of Africa in the Implementation of Agenda 2030 of the United National and African Union Agenda 2063” was hosted by the Government of Kenya, County Government of Kisumu and United Cities and Local Governments of Africa. Intermediary cities have a critical role of urbanization policy and have become a renewed subject of interest for governments, international organizations, and academia.
The Summit brought together over 10,000 delegates from 110 countries across the world providing Kenya with the golden opportunity to showcase to the world what the country has to offer at a time when Kenya has started reaping the benefits of devolution which provides a good case study for how power and resources can be decentralized in the continent for the benefit of all going forward. Over the five days, the delegates participated in interactive sessions, heard from inspirational speakers, attended workshops, implemented projects and visualizing the Africa we want, one where everyone has access to Food, Health Care, Education, Housing, Public Safety, and Peace.
The University of Eldoret was among the over fifty Exhibitors at the summit, the only institution of higher learning present. The team was led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. Phillip Raburu, whereby three faculty exhibited projects and poster presentations. Dr. Fatuma Daudi poster presentation was titled “Planning for Smart Transport System in Urban Kenya: A Case of Eldoret Municipality.” Cities are engines of economic growth of countries around the world. This is because 80% of global economic output comes from cities. Eldoret Town is the fifth largest Town in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru and is one of the fastest growing towns in Kenya. The Town is faced with a myriad of challenges which include traffic congestion, solid waste management and uncontrolled urbanization. The project was set to assess the application of the Smart City Concept which entails smart economy, smart governance, smart citizen, smart living, smart environment and smart mobility/or transport.
Dr. George Ariya’s project was tilted “Towards Sustainable Livelihood and Tour Guiding Services for Kenya’s Tourist Guides through a Tour Guiding App.” An IT-enabled peer-to-peer mobile app project that aims to make Kenya’s tour guiding services more accessible and reliable to secure better guiding jobs, improved income and service delivery, trust and confidence as well as legitimacy and guiding compliance in the Kenya’s guiding marketplace. The project was conceived on the premise that tour guiding role plays instrumental, interactional, social and communicative role, yet neglected element in Travel and Tourism sector. The project mobile apps (for tourist guides and tourists) can be downloaded at the Google Play and App Store, with a database link at www.tourguidefinder.co.ke.
Dr. Josiah Ani exhibited a projected titled “Adoption of Aquaponic Systems for Improved Livelihoods among the Youth, Women and the Marginalized in Kenya.” Agenda 2063 recognizes Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) as the main driving engine that will assist in achieving the development goals in Africa. This window, provides an opportunity for investment in STI to increase fish production and sustainable use of water resources. To achieve high production potential, basic information on aquaculture technology and management practice that enhance production is urgently needed. Aquaponic systems, therefore, come in as both an innovation and it is also a climate smart technology. Aquaponic systems integrate the culture of both plants and fish in recirculating aquaculture units. The nutrients derived from the fish are utilized by the plants for their growth in the system. The integration of both fish and plants results in a polyculture-type system that increases (agro-diversity) and yields multiple products. Aquaponics is applicable in arid and arid areas where water is scarce. It is also applicable to urban and semi-urban centres where space is unavailable due to the ever-increasing human population.
The University took the opportunity to market its academic programmes and network among the exhibitors and delegates, seeking for collaborations and partnerships. We met the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) and pitched our proposal on participation during the 2022 Agribusiness Trade Fair (ABTF). We also invited many other exhibitors to the University’s upcoming annual event. The team comprised of Dr. Steve Omari, Personal Assistant/Research Assistant to DVC (PRE) and Dr. Wambui Ng’ang’a, Corporate affairs and Marketing Manager.
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