Zhang Yijun (L), Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya and Robert Wahiti Gituru, co-director of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC) at the SAJOREC botanical garden on June 24, 2021 [IMAGE: XINHUA/LI YAN]

Kenyan botanist Robert Wahiti Gituru has hailed Kenya-China scientific cooperation which has made tangible achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gituru, co-director of the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC), based at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, said Kenyan and Chinese researchers jointly discovered six new plant species and one new animal species in 2020.

They also published more than 60 quality academic research papers as well as a monograph, Gituru said on June 24.

“We are training continually young African scientists through our friends and collaboration with the Chinese side. They are offering scholarships for African students to study in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) institutions,” he said.

Gituru said 46 young African scholars who are currently studying in China will return to Africa and carry on the study.

“The SAJOREC is the best example of China-Kenya cooperation on agricultural technologies, biodiversity and food safety,” said Zhang Yijun, Minister Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Kenya.

When inspecting the center on June 24, Zhang said the SAJOREC has cultivated hundreds of African postgraduate students and professionals.

Since its establishment in 2013, the SAJOREC has put forward more than 45 joint research programs focusing on biodiversity investigation, pathogenic microorganism detection, geographic science and remote sensing, high-yield and high-quality crop cultivation demonstration as well as land and water resources management.

Source: Xinhua

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