Plans to establish an International University in Turkana County have already kicked off after local leaders committed to supporting the process.
During the meeting held in Lodwar, the leaders agreed to kick off the engagement which will involve the County Government, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as the lead partner organisation, the Ministry of Education and the Commission for University Education.
The leaders expect that the discussion will culminate into MoU which will guide all aspects of the establishment and management of the varsity, protect the interest of the community and safeguard goodwill of international donors.
Governor Josphat Nanok who chaired the summit said the focus was for the attainment of a fully-fledged university as contained in the County Integrated Development Plan (CIDP).
The summit discussed a report from a County Executive Sub-Committee Chaired by the Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro which was tasked with investigations into land acquisition for construction of the Turkana West MMUST campus.
On the issue of land, the leaders insisted that the process for acquisition has to follow laid down procedures of acquiring community land. The summit admitted that the community desired a university in the area and urged for clarity on the community’s benefit from the university’s project.
They also expressed appreciation of the international goodwill on the project through UNHCR and the role of an open University in integration effort of refugees and host community under the Kalobeyei Integrated Socio-Economic Development Programme (KISEDP).
The leaders also appreciated the existence of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) in Turkana and the institution’s role in continued partnership in the development of Turkana University College.