5th International and Interdisciplinary Conference kicks off at MKU

Written By: Hunja Macharia

MKU Council Vice chairman, Dr. Vincent Gaitho

The 5th International and Interdisciplinary Conference 2018 kicked of Wednesday at the Mount Kenya University campus in Thika under the auspices of the Inter-Universities Research Consortium.

MKU is hosting the 3 day conference in collaboration with Kyambogo University (Uganda), Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (Nigeria) and University of Eldoret (Kenya)

MKU Council vice chairman Dr. Vincent Gichuru Gaitho who is also the chairman of the organizing committee, the consortium takes cognizant of the fact that in this information age, there is a paradigm shift to the knowledge economy.

In this economy, the key component is there greater reliance on intellectual capabilities than on physical inputs or natural resources.  The economics are not of scarcity, but rather of abundance.

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The World Bank define the knowledge economies according to four key pillars:  institutional structures that provide incentives for entrepreneurship and the use of knowledge, skilled labor availability and good education systems, ICT infrastructure and access and a vibrant innovation landscape that includes academia, the private sector and civil society.

Speaking during the opening ceremony of the conference, Dr. Gaitho said digital innovations and knowledge are the key drivers of economies in the 21st century, the consortium has convened the 5th International and Interdisciplinary Research 2018 Conference under the theme: Digital Innovation and Knowledge Economy: Opportunities and Challenges towards Achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

Gaitho said Digital innovation and knowledge explosion can be credited with innumerable gains but also associated with numerous risks and challenges.

The 5th International and Interdisciplinary Research 2018 Conference has brought together practitioners, academicians, policy makers, governmental and non-governmental organizations in a single platform to dialogue and dissect the opportunities and challenges that Digital innovation and knowledge economy portends.

“This will not only be a moment to share research findings but also to reflect on opportunities and challenges in Africa towards achieving SDGs through a multidisciplinary approach. I therefore take this opportunity to welcome all to this conference.  Additionally, I take this opportunity to appreciate all the partners who have joined to ensure this conference succeeds.  Finally, on behalf of the organizing committee I wish all of you a fruitful participation and a memorable stay in Kenya,” said the chairman.

MKU Vice Chancellor Prof. Stanley Waudo said the conference provides an opportunity to share ideas, exchange experiences and explore possibilities of establishing partnerships.

He said it is gratifying to note the theme and sub-themes of the conference cover a wide-range of topics including fake news and solutions to the same.

Waundo said the conference creates an opportunity for scholars to interact and exchange ideas saying the role played by sponsors can’t be downplayed.  “On behalf of the MKU fraternity, I thank all the sponsors of the conference,” said Prof Waudo.

Prof. Waudo said it was the invention of the first electronic digital computer (Univac) that was referred to as a thinking machine a symbol-manipulating device that made automation and today’s digital era possible.

“In the digital era, mobile phone is slowly replacing face-to-face human interaction. Phone calls are slowly replacing correspondence through letters.  Fish farms are able to have smart ponds connected to sensors and special cameras that relay information in real time on how fish is doing; in other words, farming is becoming more and more automated and less labour intensive. Therefore, appropriate application of digital technology in the diverse spheres of life is critical for sustainable development,” the MKU VC said.

He added, “I trust that deliberations from the three days conference will result in ideas that will contribute to innovations that will help steer progress and assure the future of sustainable development.



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