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PBL BioAfrica project partners gathered on the campus of Egerton University from 3-7 June 2024 to share lessons learnt, achievements and to reflect on sustainability measures to scale achieved results.

The workshop was opened by Prof. Joshua Ondura, Principal, Egerton Nakuru City Campus. He welcomed participants to the campus of Egerton and reminded partners on the objectives of the workshop. In his speech, he assured that, as an institution, Egerton is keen to adopt Open University. In his final words, he proposed partners think about integrating AI as they go forward.

In addition to project team members from various institutions, there were representatives from the Project Board; Prof Kahi, Egerton University, Prof Maithya, South Eastern Kenya University and Dr Mitulo, Mulungushi University who were impressed to hear about the impact of the project.

As part of measures for partners to improve their collaboration with industry, student challenges was recognized to have contributed immensely to problem-based learning skills development of staff and formidable way to change lives in communities. A total of 30 student challenges were organized involving 30 industry partners in Zambia, Kenya and Finland. Present to share their experience were members from the Green Community Cooperative, who through the student challenge, were trained to better produce their organic fertilizer, brand, market and increase their sales. Madam, Easter, the leader of the Cooperative expressed the sincere appreciation on behalf of all the cooperative members and their willingness to utilize the newly opened OU and ODL courses to fur improve their work and improve their livelihood.

Ms Esther Bonita, President, Green Community Self Help Group, Nakuru County/ Kenya

She said, It was a shock to see Egerton University in their community mingling with women. Through the project, the group learnt to make quality organic fertilizer. The group now owns brand of fertilizer and also raise poultry for sale. The perception of thinking of the villagers have changed. Everyone in the village have benefited from the project in one way or another. The youth wing of the group leader expressed how 12 young people now manage the poultry farm of the

cooperative. He said, “we have found a purpose “ and dedicate time during school holidays to push their venture. The group now has more lives to change.

The perception of thinking of the villagers have changed.

Partner Institutions developed and piloted Open University and Open Distance Learning courses have received positive responses from partners and partners are looking forward to roll out courses in the coming months. A special guest from the Open University of Kenya, Prof. Carolyn Omulando, DVC Academic Affairs appreciated the contribution of the project to support Open University popularity and offering in Kenya through partners in the PBL-BioAfrica Project.

In Egerton, the newly opened Open University Course has attracted 500 applicants who are waiting eagerly for training to start. In South Eastern Kenya University, the institution has continued to work with industry partners from students and have formalized collaboration through an MoU. The school will develop more courses for farmer groups and cooperatives after the pilot course on record keeping was highly successful. The University of Zambia course on Pig feed formulation attracted a lot of applicants as well and according to Dr, Mufungwe, they are putting measures in place to roll it out soon well as Mulungushi University with the Course Bee Keeping Profitability.

It was a week of inspiration and partners working to effectively make use the remaining time in the project to scale-up achieved results.  

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