Co-Hosts

The University of Nairobi (UoN) became first national university in Kenya on July 1, 1970. The idea of an institution for higher learning in Kenya goes back to 1947 when the Kenya Government drew up a plan for the establishment of a technical and commercial institute in Nairobi. In September 1951, a Royal Charter was issued to the Royal Technical College of East Africa and the foundation stone of the college was laid in April 1952. During the same period, the Asian Community of East Africa was also planning to build a College for Arts, Science and Commerce as a living memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. To avoid duplication of efforts, Gandhi Memorial Academy Society agreed to merge interests with those of the East African Governments. Thus, the Gandhi Memorial Academy was incorporated into the Royal Technical College of East Africa in April 1954, and the college proceeded to open its doors to the first intake of students in April 1956.

On June 25, 1961, the College became the second University College in East Africa, under the name Royal College Nairobi. The Royal College Nairobi was renamed University College, Nairobi on May 20, 1964. On the attainment of "University College" status, the institution prepared students for bachelor's degrees awarded by the University of London, while also continuing to offer college diploma programmes. The University College Nairobi provided educational opportunities in this capacity until 1966 when it began preparing students exclusively for degrees of the University of East Africa, with the exception of the Department of Domestic Science. With effect from July 1, 1970, the University of East Africa was dissolved and the three East African countries set up their national universities. This development saw the birth of the University of Nairobi set up by an Act of Parliament. It is a legal entity established under the University of Nairobi Act (1985) and currently regulated by Commission for University Education Act (2013).

The University of Nairobi is a world-class university that has made great impact on education and research in Eastern and Southern Africa. It has population of about 84,000 undergraduate and post graduate students spread within 10 faculties, 11 research institutes and four research centres. The University of Nairobi is committed to training high caliber professionals and innovative researchers in emerging issues and its professionals are at the forefront of the national and regional policy agenda. As a result of this remarkable contribution, more than 50 percent of professionals and researchers in Kenya have been trained at the University of Nairobi. In addition, the University of Nairobi is a research-intensive university with a reputation for excellence and a strong and vibrant research culture. Its research work is recognised for its impact and relevance to the nation, region, and more so to the communities.

Over the years, the University of Nairobi has implemented several national, regional and international projects and programmes, including some supported by international donors and has excellent partnerships, collaborations, and linkages with many local, regional, and international universities, organizations; private sector; and policy makers. It has played a critical role in the development of technologies with wider impact in such areas as agriculture, health, business, engineering, architecture, law, education, and general development of the country. As spelt out in its 2019 to 2024 strategic plan, the future focus of the University of Nairobi is on five main areas, which are teaching and learning; research enterprise and innovation; financial and institutional sustainability; overall institutional development and branding; and operation efficiency and effectiveness.

The University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) is the oldest and premier public university in Tanzania. The UDSM has two constituent colleges, which are the Dar es Salaam University College of Education located in Dar-es-Salaam and the Mkwawa University College of Education, located in Iringa. There are also seven campus colleges, four schools and five institutes hosting numerous academic departments covering a wide range of programmes, making it a comprehensive university. The academic programmes offered lead to the award of certificates, diplomas, and undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. A total of 370 programmes including 17 taught PhD; 99 PhD by thesis; 142 masters; 10 postgraduate; 92 undergraduate; 5 certificate, and 6 diploma are offered in various academic units. The number of students admitted reached 39,958 in 2020/2021 academic year, where female students constitute 46 percent of all students and more efforts have been and are underway to increase this percentage.

University of Dar es Salaam Business School (UDBS) where the African Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Operations (ACESO) in resource management and food supply is hosted is one of the leading institutions in business and management research, teaching, and consultancy in the Sub-Saharan region. The UDBS manages four teaching and research departments, which are Accounting, Finance, General Management and Marketing. The school’s research and teaching draw upon entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity, sustainability, governance and business management that stimulate development and economic growth. Overall, our mission is to provide quality training, research and advisory services.

The ACESO is a multidisciplinary centre that promotes training and research in sustainable operations, resource management and food supply. The aim of the centre is to support the establishment of two new master's programmes in Business Research (MBR) and Sustainable Management and Operations (SMO). There will be a special scholarship programme for PhD students, regular summer schools, inter-university exchange programmes and guest lectures. The aim of the centre is to become a world-class centre of excellence that meets development needs through innovation, knowledge creation and application in the areas of sustainable business and resource management, logistics, agribusiness, rural entrepreneurship and food supply chain.