Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cabinet Secretary Prof Judi Wakhungu and JICA’s Chief Representative Keiko Sano watering a tree in commemoration of the 13th JICA President Award.Looking on are PS Dr. Mwakima and KEFRI Director Dr.Ben Chikamai.

The Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has won the 13th Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Award.

While gracing the occasion at the KEFRI headquarters in Kiambu County,  Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu lauded the Institution, attributing the  award to the Institute’s exemplary work and performance as well as its commitment and dedication to furthering the ideals of JICA’s International Cooperation activities in all JICA supported Projects globally.

Prof Wakhungu said JICA’s President Award is given in honor of individuals or organizations for their long-standing contribution to JICA’s activities in Japan and overseas.

The Cabinet Secretary said that through Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation programme support, KEFRI’s capacity in research and development has been enhanced tremendously.

“We will  continue to support KEFRI in pursuing collaboration with development partners to share research achievements to address emerging challenges of Climate Change and poverty alleviation in our country and African Region”, she added.

The CS noted that the technologies generated and training provided through the collaboration, have enabled sound forestry practices and management of forest resources both nationally and in the African region.

Wakhungu said that the collaboration has further expanded the scope of KEFRI’s on-going projects of Capacity Development for Sustainable Management to share knowledge on best practices in Eastern Africa and a further initiative to Combat Desertification in Africa through interventions in Forestry.

Present at the event was State Department for Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima who commended JICA for its continued financial and technical support, saying it has enabled KEFRI scientists to empower communities with forestry skills to improve livelihoods.

Dr. Mwakima said that JICA’s agreement to support Capacity Development Project for Sustainable Forest Management in Kenya clearly demonstrates its commitment towards helping the Country achieve its objective of 10 percent forest cover as stipulated in Kenya’s Constitution 2010 and Medium Terms Plans of Vision 2030.

Also present at the occasion was Chief Representative JICA Kenya Office, Ms. Keiko Sano alongside KEFRI Director Dr. Ben Chikamai.

KEFRI was selected for the award based on its long history of cooperation and very strong tie with JICA and was amongst 23 organizations shortlisted for the award.

KEFRI and JICA partnership stretches over a span of 31 years in areas of contribution to economic and social development and improvement of people’s welfare in their own countries.

Recently, the organization has also received additional Grant Aid support from JICA for purchase of equipment under the Small and Medium Enterprise arrangement, which will go a long way in further equipping their laboratories in the Regional Centres.

Front row- Cabinet Secretary Prof.Judi Wakhungu (right) together with PS Dr. Mwakima (centre) and KEFRI Director Dr. Ben Chikamai (left) at the 13th JICA President Award held at the Institute’s Headquarters to recognize KEFRI’s exemplary work and performance.

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