The Kibabii University’s 5th International Conference kicked off on Tuesday 15th June, 2021. The two-day virtual conference themed “Mitigating the Post Covid-19 Impact on The Realization of Sustainable Development Goals” attracted a total of 63 successful abstracts spread across the five (5) sub-themes.
|1)||Universal Health Care (SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing)||17||93|
|2)||Food and Nutrition Security (SDG 2: Zero Hunger)||14|
|3)||Enhancing Manufacturing (SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production)||9|
|4)||Affordable Housing (SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities)||3|
|5)||Cross Cutting Issues||50|
While welcoming participants, researchers and delegates to the Conference, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Planning, Research and Innovation) Prof. Dr.-Ing. Benedict M. Mutua termed the Conference an indicator that Kibabii University is in the forefront in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and exuded his confidence in the outcomes that would come out of the Conference.
The Vice Chancellor Prof. Ipara Isaac Odeo enumerated the ravages orchestrated by Covid-19, causing destructive impacts in almost every sector in the economy. He addressed the opening ceremony, indicating various ways in which the economy would heal past the deadly pandemic.
“Covid-19 has hit every sector of humanity; ranging from economic, social and our political space. It is a challenge to us researchers to remain sober and look at these impacts from different lens. Let the negatives be seen and turned into opportunities,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor further challenged various sectors to be alive to the fact that Covid-19 may be there for longer than expected.
Speaking on behalf of the Kibabii University’s Chairman of Council Dr. Ernest Mwangi Njoroge, a Council Member Amb. Mr. Tom Mboya Wambua reiterated the University Council’s commitment in supporting the University Management’s strategies laid down to deal with the current and any foreseeable pandemics. He emphasized on the impacts Covid-19 had caused in society and asked researchers to beat such by rallying their calls through informed research.
“Let us not sit pretty. Covid-19 may not be ending soon. It is not the first and probably may actually not be the last pandemic. We must keep this wheel moving by exploring newer ways of doing things,” Amb. Wambua said.
Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the immediate former Undersecretary General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) who was the Chief Guest at this 5th International Conference elaborated the pre-Covid and post-Pandemic behavioral as well as economic changes. He cited cases of the most affected, declining economic zones as well as the most resilient and fast recovery economies across the globe.
“The challenges emanating from the changing patterns of investment have occasioned a significant collapse in Foreign Direct Investments in developing economies. In Africa for example, the decline stands at 39%. However, we have notable economies like the Republic of China and Vietnam who have managed over 90% of post-Covid recovery,” Dr. Mukhisa noted.
Closer home, Dr. Mukhisa expressed with concern a huge number of urban-rural migrations. According to him, this kind of migration pattern signifies a depressed population, and a paining economy, challenging various sectors to channel resources to uplift livelihoods, especially in urban areas to reverse the losses accrued since the pandemic manifested itself in Kenya on March 2021.