A state-of-the-art facility funded by the Chinese government to promote collaborative research with African countries in the fields of agriculture and biodiversity conservation was officially handed over to a Kenyan university on September 26.

The transfer ceremony was held at the campus of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), where the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center is situated.

Vice Chancellor of JKUAT Mabel Imbuga (L), explains the organizational structure of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre (SAJOREC) to Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, Liu Xianfa (C) on September 26, 2016. (PHOTO BY MARY WAMBUI / NATION MEDIA GROUP)

The Sino-Africa Joint Research Center focuses on biodiversity protection, resource remote sensing, microbiology and the promotion of modern agricultural practices.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice Chancellor of JKUAT Mabel Imbuga hailed the scientific and technical cooperation between China and Kenya, which has promoted agricultural development and conservation of vital ecosystems in Kenya.

"The Sino-Africa Joint Research Centre will be a hub for training and knowl edge transfer on biodiversity conservation. It will also focus on critical areas like agricultural science, molecular biology, remote sensing and natural products development," Imbuga said.

She said the modern research facility will enhance African countries' capacity to tackle pressing challenges like hunger, water scarcity and habitat loss, and that the transfer of technology and skills will flourish.

The Chinese government provided funding for the establishment of the research center and its state-of-the-art laboratories, herbarium, green houses, administration offices, and conference and accommodation facilities. A Chinese firm carried out the construction work.

The research center includes buildings of 4,300 square meters, and a 36-acre botanical garden. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) supports its management and has donated equipment worth more than 2.2 million U.S. dollars.

Liu Xianfa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya, said the establishment of the research center marked a significant milestone in Sino-Africa cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation.

"The aim of this project is to pursue development and environmental protection in a holistic way and build a green Africa that enjoys sustainable development," Liu said at the ceremony.

He added that the joint research centre will provide a platform for a robust and mutually beneficial collaboration between Chinese and African scientists.

Source: Xinhua

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