Kenya's University of Kibabii (KIBU) joined the Virtual Institute today, becoming the 130th institutional member of UNCTAD's programme for academic cooperation. 

KIBU's membership was the result of networking with Vi Kenyan affiliate member, Moi University, and the initiative of Muganda Munir Manini, KIBU's chairman of the Departmental Graduate School Committee, who has been a Vi associate member since 2014.

Located in the town of Bungoma in the west of the country, KIBU was established in 2011 to equip graduates equipped with critical knowledge, skills, attitudes and values, and to undertake research that will drive sustainable development and wealth creation for the benefit of the country. Under the motto "Knowledge for Development," KIBU aims to achieve excellence in generation, transmission and enhancement of knowledge in science, technology and innovation through quality teaching, research, consultancy and outreach programmes.

The Vi will cooperate with KIBU's School of Business and Economics (SOBE), which currently runs Bachelor's programmes in commerce and in business management, and a Master's programme in business administration. The school also offers short courses in investment, management and leadership. Several other programmes are planned to start in September 2016, namely Bachelor's programmes in economics, in business information technology, and in cooperative management and enterprise development, along with Master's programmes in economics, and in international trade policy and trade law.

KIBU undertakes research in areas such as international finance, investment, trade, ICT for development, science and technology policies, enterprise development, development finance, supply chain management, trade and poverty, and the environment.

The cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Manini, who holds a PhD in business administration and teaches courses on international and public finance, financial economics, and monetary theory and practice, among others. His recent research focuses on determinants of economic growth in Kenya, fiscal policy and unemployment, and finance for SMEs. Also involved in Vi activities are SOBE's Dean, Kadian Wanyama Wanyonyi; Chairman of SOBE's Department of Business Administration & Management, Kennedy Ntabo Otiso; Chairman of the Department of Economics, Finance & Accounting, Brian Wanyama Singoro; and  Dean of the School of Computing & Informatics, Franklin Wabwoba.

KIBU is ready to promote and develop academic cooperation with other Vi members in the form of academic exchanges, joint research activities (such as comparative studies), exchange of publications and teaching materials, co-sponsoring academic meetings, developing joint/dual academic programmes, and contribute contextualized policy solutions to development challenges faced by member countries.

The university expects that Vi membership will help provide opportunities for its staff members to enhance their capacity to teach trade and development topics, as well as their skills in designing evidence-based policies. Cooperation with the Vi should also help SOBE further develop and upgrade its academic offer, in particular the upcoming Master's programme in international trade policy and trade law.

For more information, visit KIBU's profile on the Vi website.